IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/beheco/v22y2011i1p184-191.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Male Drosophila melanogaster adjust ejaculate size based on female mating status, fecundity, and age

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Lüpold
  • Mollie K. Manier
  • Outi Ala-Honkola
  • John M. Belote
  • Scott Pitnick

Abstract

In contrast to early predictions, it is now widely accepted that males incur substantive costs from ejaculate production. Hence, males are predicted to allocate their reproductive investments, including ejaculate size, relative to the risk of sperm competition and to female quality. The study of sperm allocation, however, has been technically challenging with nonvirgin females because sperm from different males must be discriminated within the female reproductive tract. To date, such investigations have thus largely been restricted to species that transfer sperm in spermatophores or for which females can be fitted with a harness to capture the incoming ejaculate. In this study, we examined sperm allocation using male Drosophila melanogaster that express a fluorescently labeled protein in sperm heads, allowing us to quantify sperm numbers from different males within the female reproductive tract. We found that male D. melanogaster deliver significantly more sperm to mated, large or young females compared with virgins, small or old females, respectively, whereas copulation duration was only significantly longer with large than with small females. These results provide further evidence for costly ejaculate production and consequent prudent allocation of sperm. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Lüpold & Mollie K. Manier & Outi Ala-Honkola & John M. Belote & Scott Pitnick, 2011. "Male Drosophila melanogaster adjust ejaculate size based on female mating status, fecundity, and age," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22(1), pages 184-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:184-191
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/beheco/arq193
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:184-191. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/beheco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.