Size-dependent alternative male mating tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria

Scott Pitnick, Kali R H Henn, Stephen D. Maheux, Dawn M. Higginson, Jorge L. Hurtado-Gonzales, Mollie K. Manier, Kirstin S. Berben, Chase Guptill, J. Albert Uy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whenever males can monopolize females and/or resources used by females, the opportunity for sexual selection will be great. The greater the variation among males in reproductive success, the greater the intensity of selection on less competitive males to gain matings through alternative tactics. In the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria, males aggressively compete for access to receptive, gravid females on fresh dung. Larger males are better able to acquire mates and to complete copulation successfully and guard the female throughout oviposition. Here we demonstrate that when an alternative resource is present where females aggregate (i.e. apple pomace, where both sexes come to feed), smaller males will redirect their searching for females from dung to the new substrate. In addition, we identify a class of particularly small males on the alternative substrate that appears never to be present searching for females on or around dung. Smaller males were found to have a mating 'advantage' on pomace, in striking contrast to the pattern observed on dung, providing further support for the existence of an alternative male reproductive tactic in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3229-3237
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume276
Issue number1671
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Scathophaga stercoraria
Diptera
Substrates
feces
apple pomace
Copulation
substrate
Oviposition
pomace
selection intensity
gravid females
copulation
Malus
resource
sexual selection
oviposition
reproductive success

Keywords

  • Body size
  • Reproductive strategy
  • Scathophaga stercoraria
  • Sexual selection
  • Sperm competition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Pitnick, S., Henn, K. R. H., Maheux, S. D., Higginson, D. M., Hurtado-Gonzales, J. L., Manier, M. K., ... Uy, J. A. (2009). Size-dependent alternative male mating tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1671), 3229-3237. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2009.0632

Size-dependent alternative male mating tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria. / Pitnick, Scott; Henn, Kali R H; Maheux, Stephen D.; Higginson, Dawn M.; Hurtado-Gonzales, Jorge L.; Manier, Mollie K.; Berben, Kirstin S.; Guptill, Chase; Uy, J. Albert.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 276, No. 1671, 22.09.2009, p. 3229-3237.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pitnick, S, Henn, KRH, Maheux, SD, Higginson, DM, Hurtado-Gonzales, JL, Manier, MK, Berben, KS, Guptill, C & Uy, JA 2009, 'Size-dependent alternative male mating tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 276, no. 1671, pp. 3229-3237. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2009.0632
Pitnick, Scott ; Henn, Kali R H ; Maheux, Stephen D. ; Higginson, Dawn M. ; Hurtado-Gonzales, Jorge L. ; Manier, Mollie K. ; Berben, Kirstin S. ; Guptill, Chase ; Uy, J. Albert. / Size-dependent alternative male mating tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2009 ; Vol. 276, No. 1671. pp. 3229-3237.
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