Influences of male age, mating history and starvation on female post mating aggression and feeding in <i>Drosophila</i>

Bath, Eleanor ORCID: 0000-0002-2988-8061, Buzzoni, Daisy, Ralph, Toby, Wigby, Stuart ORCID: 0000-0002-2260-2948 and Sepil, Irem
(2020) Influences of male age, mating history and starvation on female post mating aggression and feeding in <i>Drosophila</i>. biorxiv. 2020.09.24.311159-.

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Mating changes female behaviour and physiology across a wide range of taxa, with important effects for male and female fitness. These changes are often induced by components of the male ejaculate, such as sperm and seminal fluid proteins. However, males can vary significantly in their ejaculates, due to factors such as age, mating history, or nutritional status. This male variation may therefore lead to variation in the strength of responses males can stimulate in females, with alterations in fitness outcomes for both sexes. Using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster , we tested whether three aspects of male condition shape an important, but understudied, post-mating response – increased female-female aggression. We found that females mated to old males fought less than females mated to young males. This effect was exacerbated in mates of old, sexually active males, but there was no effect of male starvation status on mating-induced female aggression. There was also a significant effect of age and mating history on female post-mating feeding duration. Our results add to a growing body of literature that variation in male condition can shape sexual selection through post-mating responses in females, including female-female interactions. Studying such variation may therefore be useful for understanding how the condition of sex affects the behaviour of the other.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contraception/Reproduction, Generic health relevance
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 17:17
DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.24.311159
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