Time flies: Time of day and social environment affect cuticular hydrocarbon sexual displays in Drosophila serrata
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Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
Citation:Susan N. Gershman, Ethan Toumishey, and Howard D. Rundle, "Time flies: Time of day and social environment affect cuticular hydrocarbon sexual displays in Drosophila serrata," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 281. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0821
Recent work on Drosophila cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) challenges a historical assumption that CHCs in flies are largely invariant. Here we examine the effect of time of day and social environment on a suite of sexually selected CHCs in Drosophila serrata. We demonstrate that males become more attractive to females during the time of day that flies are most active and when most matings occur, but females become less attractive to males during the same time of day. These opposing temporal changes may reflect differences in selection among the sexes. To evaluate the effect of social environment on male CHC attractiveness, we manipulated male opportunity for mating: male flies were housed either alone, with five females, with five males, or with five males and five females. We found that males had the most attractive CHCs when with females, and less attractive CHCs when with competitor males. Social environment mediated how male CHC attractiveness cycled: males housed with females and/or other males showed temporal changes in CHC attractiveness, whereas males housed alone did not. In total, our results demonstrate temporal patterning of male CHCs that is dependent on social environment, and suggest that such changes may be beneficial to males.
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