Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 68, Issue 12, pp 2013–2021 | Cite as

Copulation duration, but not paternity share, potentially mediates inbreeding avoidance in Drosophila montana

  • Outi Ala-HonkolaEmail author
  • P. Veltsos
  • H. Anderson
  • M. G. Ritchie
Original Paper


Studying the incidence of inbreeding avoidance is important for understanding the evolution of mating systems, especially in the context of mate choice for genetic compatibility. We investigated whether inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved in the malt fly, Drosophila montana, by measuring mating latency (a measure of male attractiveness), copulation duration, days to remating, offspring production, and the proportion of offspring sired by the first (P1) and second (P2) male to mate in full-sibling and unrelated pairs. SNP markers were used for paternity analysis and for calculating pairwise relatedness values (genotype sharing) between mating pairs. We found 18 % inbreeding depression in egg-to-adult viability, suggesting that mating with close relatives is costly. Copulation duration was shorter between previously mated females and their brothers than with unrelated males. Based on an earlier study, shorter copulation is likely to decrease the number of inbred progeny by decreasing female remating time. However, shorter copulations did not lead to lower paternity (P2) of full-sibling males. Progeny production of double-mated females was lower when the second male was a full-sibling as compared to an unrelated male, but we could not distinguish between inbreeding depression and lower female reproductive effort after mating with a relative. Relatedness estimates based on 34 SNPs did not detect any quantitative effect of relatedness variation on copulation duration and progeny production. We suggest that inbreeding depression has been strong enough to select for inbreeding avoidance mechanisms in our Finnish D. montana population.


SNP genotyping Inbreeding depression Bayesian statistics Beta-binomial distribution 



O.A.-H was funded by the Academy of Finland (grant number 250999) and PV & MGR were funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/E015255/1). We thank Anneli Hoikkala for access to the fly population.

Ethical standards

The experiments performed comply with the current laws of UK, in which they were performed.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

265_2014_1807_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (474 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 474 kb)
265_2014_1807_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (13 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 12 kb)
265_2014_1807_MOESM3_ESM.txt (69 kb)
ESM 3 (TXT 68 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Outi Ala-Honkola
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Veltsos
    • 2
  • H. Anderson
    • 2
  • M. G. Ritchie
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental ScienceUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Centre for Genomic Research, Dyers Brae House, School of BiologyUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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