Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19508
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Wild yellow dung fly females may not select sperm based on dung pat microclimate but could nevertheless benefit from polyandry
Authors: Demont, Marco
Martin, Oliver
Bussiere, Luc
Contact Email: luc.bussiere@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Postcopulatory sexual selection
Cryptic female choice
Sperm competition
Scathophaga
Scatophaga
Issue Date: May-2012
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Demont M, Martin O & Bussiere L (2012) Wild yellow dung fly females may not select sperm based on dung pat microclimate but could nevertheless benefit from polyandry, Evolutionary Ecology, 26 (3), pp. 715-731.
Abstract: Molecular techniques have substantially improved our knowledge of postcopulatory sexual selection. Nevertheless, studies examining sperm utilization in natural populations of nonsocial insects are rare, support for sperm selection (biased use of stored sperm, e.g. to match offspring genotypes to prevailing environmental conditions) is elusive, and its relevance within natural populations unknown. We performed an oviposition site choice experiment in the field where female yellow dung flies Scathophaga stercoraria could deposit eggs into three different microenvironments on a dung pat (the east-west ridge, north- or south-exposed side), and genotyped the offspring and sperm remaining in storage after oviposition. Females exhibited plasticity in the number of eggs deposited according to pat age. Additionally, temperature strongly influenced egg placement: the warmer the temperature, the higher the proportion of eggs laid into the north-exposed side of dung. The number of ejaculates in storage differed amongst spermathecae, and females stored sperm from more males than fathered their offspring (2.11 sires vs. 2.84 males within sperm stores). Mean last male paternity was 83.4%, roughly matching previous laboratory estimates. Importantly, we found no evidence that females selectively lay eggs of different genotypes, by biasing paternity towards certain males, depending on offspring's microclimate. Thus, while we show female choice over number of eggs and where these are deposited, there was no evidence for sperm selection. We further revealed positive effects of multiple mating on total number of offspring and proportion of offspring emerging from the dung. We argue that the integration of field studies and laboratory experiments is essential to promote our understanding of polyandry and cryptic female choice.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19508
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10682-011-9519-1
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Zurich
ETH Zurich
Biological and Environmental Sciences

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