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Data from: Epicuticular compounds of Protopiophila litigata (Diptera: Piophilidae): identification and sexual selection across two years in the wild

Citation

Angell, Christopher; Curtis, Sharon; Ryckenbusch, Anaïs; Rundle, Howard (2019), Data from: Epicuticular compounds of Protopiophila litigata (Diptera: Piophilidae): identification and sexual selection across two years in the wild, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2jm63xsjn

Abstract

The epicuticular compounds (ECs) of insects serve both to waterproof the cuticle and, in many taxa, as pheromones that are important for various social interactions including mate choice within populations. However, ECs have not been individually identified in many species and most studies of their role in mate choice have been performed in a laboratory setting. Here we newly identify and quantify the ECs of the antler fly, Protopiophila litigata Bonduriansky, and use a cross-sectional selection analysis to quantify their association with male mating success in the wild across two years (2013 and 2017). The ECs of antler flies include straight-chain and methylated alkanes, alkenes, and a family of branched wax esters. We find all ECs to be shared between males and females but also demonstrate sexual dimorphism in the abundance of several. Male EC relative abundances were significantly associated with mating success in both years, although the multivariate direction of selection differed significantly between the years. Surprisingly, only two of the 18 compounds (or groups of compounds) we identified were similarly associated with mating success across the sampling years. In 2017, we further partitioned sexual selection into intra- and intersexual components, revealing selection on ECs to be significant via female choice but not male-male competition. Our study is one of few to investigate the potential role of ECs in mating success in the wild and adds to a growing body of evidence demonstrating significant temporal variability in selection in natural populations.

Usage Notes

field-male-mating.csv GC:FID peak areas for 18 major epicuticular compounds (or co-eluting groups of compounds) collected in two years from wild male Protopihila litigata that were either mating or single. Peak numbers correspond to those in Fig. 1 and Table 1 of the associated manuscript.

male-female-lab.csv Includes both GC:FID peak areas and absolute abundances -- calculated based on an alkane standard -- of 18 ECs collected from 20 male and 19 female Protopiophila litigata reared in the laboratory.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: 210108