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Alternative reproductive tactic in male Drosophila prolongata

Cite this dataset

Perdigón Ferreira, Jhoniel; Lüpold, Stefan (2021). Alternative reproductive tactic in male Drosophila prolongata [Dataset]. Dryad.


Species with intense male-male competition for access to females often show alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) where males of lower competitive ability adopt a sneaky behavior to gain access to mates. These ARTs are usually associated with intrasexual dimorphisms, in that males with distinct morphologies show different tactics. In some cases, however, males adopt different tactics without being dimorphic. Male Drosophila prolongata exhibit continuous variation in body size and shape, with enlarged forelegs that they use in male-male contests and in courtship, including stimulation of the female’s abdomen. During this ‘leg vibration’, however, nearby males can intercept the courted female and mate without their own courtship. Here, we studied the causes and consequences of these different mating tactics in competitive mating trials between males varying in their size and shape. We found that male mating tactics were condition-dependent. Whereas large, high-condition males were more likely to show leg vibration in their courtship, smaller, lower-condition males were more likely to intercept. However, the number of offspring produced was independent of male condition and reproductive tactic. We discuss possible scenarios for the evolution and maintenance of the ARTs and some future directions for the study of ARTs in this species and in general.


Data were collected as described in paper.


University of Zurich Forschungskredit, Award: FK-16-089

University of Zurich GRC travel grant

Georges and Antoine Claraz Foundation

Swiss National Science Foundation, Award: PZ00P3_154767

Swiss National Science Foundation, Award: PP00P3_170669