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Data from: Previous inter-sexual aggression increases female mating propensity in fruit flies

Citation

Filice, David; Dukas, Reuven (2022), Data from: Previous inter-sexual aggression increases female mating propensity in fruit flies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7d7wm37xn

Abstract

Female mate choice is a complex decision making process that involves many context-dependent factors. Understanding the factors that shape variation in female mate choice has important consequences for evolution via sexual selection. In many animals including fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, males often use aggressive mating strategies to coerce females into mating, but it is not clear if females’ experience with sexual aggression shapes their future behaviors. Here, we used males derived from lineages that were artificially selected to display either low or high sexual aggression toward females to determine how experience with these males shapes subsequent female mate choice. First, we verified that males from these lineages differed in their sexual behaviors. We found that males from high sexual aggression backgrounds spent more time pursuing virgin females, and had a shorter mating latency but shorter copulation duration compared to males from low sexual aggression backgrounds. Next, we tested how either a harassment by or mating experience with males from either a high or low sexual aggression backgrounds influenced subsequent female mate choice behaviors. We found that in both scenarios, females that interacted with high sexual aggression males were more likely and faster to mate with a novel male one day later, regardless of the male’s aggression level. These results have important implications for understanding the evolution of flexible polyandry as a mechanism that benefits females.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada