Females of the Drosophila virilis group of species may vibrate their wings during courtship producing songs consisting of trains of successive sound pulses (pulse song) or sinusoidal hums (sine song). In the present study we describe these songs and study their role in courtship using a transition analysis. To find out which songs should be classified as pulse songs and which ones as sine songs, we studied the inheritance of different song types in interspecific F1 hybrids. In only a few species did the females produce large quantities of song in successful courtships. The males' reactions to female songs varied from licking and singing to stopping the courtship. Pulse trains with short and long intervals between successive pulses appeared to be different forms of the pulse song, while sine song (sinusoidal hums) was inherited independently of the pulse song.
"Previous studies have documented the presence of female song in the D. virilis group of species (Satokangas et al., 1994); however, it is not known if males and females coordinate their song production into duets nor have the mechanisms underlying female song production been studied. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many animal species, including insects, are capable of acoustic duetting, a complex social behavior in which males and females tightly control the rate and timing of their courtship song syllables relative to each other. The mechanisms underlying duetting remain largely unknown across model systems. Most studies of duetting focus exclusively on acoustic interactions, but the use of multisensory cues should aid in coordinating behavior between individuals. To test this hypothesis, we develop Drosophila virilis as a new model for studies of duetting. By combining sensory manipulations, quantitative behavioral assays, and statistical modeling, we show that virilis females combine precisely timed auditory and tactile cues to drive song production and duetting. Tactile cues delivered to the abdomen and genitalia play the larger role in females, as even headless females continue to coordinate song production with courting males. These data, therefore, reveal a novel, non-acoustic, mechanism for acoustic duetting. Finally, our results indicate that female-duetting circuits are not sexually differentiated, as males can also produce ‘female-like’ duets in a context-dependent manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07277.001
"Whereas wild-type D. melanogaster females do not sing, other mutant females of this species (Demir and Dickson, 2005) and wild-type females of other Drosophila species (Satokangas et al., 1994) have been reported to sing. Misexpression of the male-specific isoform of fruitless in an otherwise normal D. melanogaster female fly allows her to perform many elements of male reproductive behavior including courtship singing, showing that manipulation of the sex of the nervous system can lead to a corresponding change in sex-specific behaviors (Demir and Dickson, 2005; Manoli et al., 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of ecdysteroid signaling on Drosophila female precopulatory behavior was investigated using two types of mutants with either globally reduced ecdysteroid availability or reduced expression of ecdysone receptors in fruitless neurons, known to control sexual behavior. While being courted by males, mutant females performed significantly less full ovipositor extrusion behavior to reject male copulation attempts. Ecdysteroid depleted females (ecdysoneless(1)) performed male-like courtship behaviors, including unilateral wing extension and song production with patterns very similar to male courtship song. These results support the hypothesis that ecdysteroids modulate female sexual behavior, perhaps acting as a regulator of sexual motivation, and as a component affecting the performance of sex specific behavior patterns.
"Rejection song has been described before in D. montana (Satokangas et al. 1994). It is common in young females or those courted by heterospecific males and inhibits male courtship attempts (Liimatainen and Hoikkala 1998). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexual selection has the potential to contribute to population divergence and speciation. Most studies of sexual selection in Drosophila have concentrated on a single signaling modality, usually either courtship song or cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), which can act as contact pheromones. We have examined the relationship between both signal types and reproductive success using F(1-3) offspring of wild-collected flies, raised in the lab. We used two populations of the Holarctic species Drosophila montana that represent different phylogeographic clades that have been separate for ca. 0.5 million years (MY), and differ to some extent in both traits. Here, we characterize the nature and identify the targets of sexual selection on song, CHCs, and both traits combined within the populations. Three measures of courtship outcome were used as fitness proxies. They were the probability of mating, mating latency, and the production of rejection song by females, and showed patterns of association with different traits that included both linear and quadratic selection. Courtship song predicted courtship outcome better than CHCs and the signal modalities acted in an additive rather than synergistic manner. Selection was generally consistent in direction and strength between the two populations and favored males that sang more vigorously. Sexual selection differed in the extent, strength, and nature on some of the traits between populations. However, the differences in the directionality of selection detected were not a good predictor of population differences. In addition, a character previously shown to be important for species recognition, interpulse interval, was found to be under sexual selection. Our results highlight the complexity of understanding the relationship between within-population sexual selection and population differences. Sexual selection alone cannot predict differences between populations.
Ecology and Evolution 01/2012; 2(1):80-94. DOI:10.1002/ece3.75 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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