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Data from: Condition dependence of a multicomponent sexual display trait in Drosophila serrata


Delcourt, Matthieu; Rundle, Howard D. (2012), Data from: Condition dependence of a multicomponent sexual display trait in Drosophila serrata, Dryad, Dataset,


Theory predicts that costly sexual displays should evolve condition dependence if the marginal fitness gain from trait exaggeration is greater for high- than for low-condition individuals and that the strength of condition dependence should increase with the strength of directional selection. While there is substantial support for the first prediction, evidence for the latter is much weaker. We undertook a quantitative test of this prediction for a multivariate sexual display consisting of a suite of contact pheromones termed “cuticular hydrocarbons” (CHCs) in Drosophila serrata. We performed a dietary manipulation of condition (i.e., the pool of metabolic resources available for allocation to fitness-enhancing traits) within a half-sibling breeding design, thereby also providing insight into the genetic basis of condition dependence. As predicted, the linear combination of CHCs under the strongest sexual selection from female mate preferences was unusually condition dependent relative to other CHC combinations within the population (P = .049). A significant positive correlation also existed between the strengths of condition dependence and sexual selection among different CHC blends (r = 0.482, P < .001). Finally, sires varied in their response to the dietary manipulation, demonstrating significant genetic variance in condition dependence. Our results are consistent with the evolution of heightened condition dependence of sexual displays in response to persistent sexual selection.

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