, Volume 162, Issue 5, pp 649-652

Big ‘antlers’ are favoured: female choice in stalk-eyed flies (Diptera, Insecta), field collected harems and laboratory experiments

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Cyrtodiopsis whitei (Diopsidae) from Malaysia is one of the stalk-eyed flies which show a marked sexual dimorphism ofeye spans. The particularly long eye stalks of male flies are to be regarded as an epigamic feature. Field observations show the males' eye spans to be correlated with the possession of a harem and with that harem's size. The question whether such a harem is acquired by male competition only, or whether female choice plays a part, is solved in female preference tests, offering dummy males of different eye spans for choice. Optical clues are found to be the relevant stimuli.