Experimental demonstration of possible cryptic female choice on male tsetse fly genitalia
Briceño Lobo, Daniel
Eberhard Chabtree, William G.
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A possible explanation for one of the most general trends in animal evolution – rapid divergent evolution of animal genitalia – is that male genitalia are used as courtship devices that influence cryptic female choice. But experimental demonstrations of stimulatory effects of male genitalia on female reproductive processes have generally been lacking. Previous studies of female reproductive physiology in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans suggested that stimulation during copulation triggers ovulation and resistance to remating. In this study we altered the form of two male genital structures that squeeze the female’s abdomen rhythmically in G. morsitans centralis and induced, as predicted, cryptic female choice against the male: sperm storage decreased, while female remating increased. Further experiments in which we altered the female sensory abilities at the site contacted by thesemale structures during copulation, and severely altered or eliminated the stimuli the male received from this portion of his genitalia, suggested that the effects of genital alteration on sperm storage were due to changes in tactile stimuli received by the female, rather than altered male behavior. These data support the hypothesis that sexual selection by cryptic female choice has been responsible for the rapid divergent evolution of male genitalia in Glossina; limitations of this support are discussed. It appears that a complex combination of stimuli trigger female ovulation, sperm storage, and remating, and different stimuli affect different processes in G. morsitans, and that the same processes are controlled differently in G. pallidipes. This puzzling diversity in female triggering mechanisms may be due to the action of sexual selection.
External link to the item10.1016/j.jinsphys.2009.07.001
artículo -- Universidad de Costa Rica. Escuela de Biología, 2009. Este documento es privado debido a restricciones de derechos de autor del publicador.
- Biología