Behavior Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 257–263 | Cite as

The Role of Male Courtship Song in Species Recognition in Drosophila montana

  • M. Saarikettu
  • J. O. Liimatainen
  • A. HoikkalaEmail author

In many Drosophila species the male courtship song is an essential part of a successful courtship, playing a role in species-recognition and/or in sexual selection exercised by the females on conspecific males. In Drosophila montana, specific traits of the courtship song (the length and the carrier frequency of sound pulses) have earlier been shown to play an important role in intraspecific mate choice. Here we show that the male song (especially the interpulse interval) also plays a role in species-recognition, maintaining sexual isolation between sympatric species. We succeeded in breaking down sexual isolation between D. montana females and D. lummei males by playing the females simulated courtship song with a species-specific interpulse interval while they were courted by a mute (wingless) male. Involvement of different song traits in intra- and interspecific mate choice suggests that the song may be affected by both directional and stabilizing selection.


acoustic cues mate choice sexual isolation song simulations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Saarikettu
    • 1
  • J. O. Liimatainen
    • 1
  • A. Hoikkala
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of OuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of JyväskyläFinland

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