Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 407–413 | Cite as

Absence of clinal variation in virgin retention capacity in Australian Drosophila melanogaster

  • Carla M. SgròEmail author
  • Andréa Magiafoglou
  • Laetitia Faine
  • Ary A. Hoffmann
Research Article


The ability of virgin Drosophila melanogaster adults to retain eggs is thought to be an adaptation to persisting in temperate areas, based on differences in this trait between European and African populations, and based on seasonal changes in this trait in France. By retaining eggs in the absence of males and under conditions of poorer nutrition (conditions common in temperate areas during colder months), females reduce the wastage of resources and increase their probability of surviving spring into summer, enabling them to initiate summer population expansions. To test for variation in virgin egg retention along a climatic gradient, we characterized clinal variation in strains collected from eastern Australia extending from temperate Tasmania to tropical northern Queensland. Despite testing a large number of strains and repeated testing of the cline ends, we did not detect any evidence for clinal variation in virgin egg retention. Therefore although D. melanogaster in temperate Australia overwinter at the adult stage, there is no evidence for selection on virgin retention capacity producing clinal patterns. This contrasts with other evidence for clinal variation in egg production patterns over winter.


D. melanogaster Virgin egg retention Cline Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla M. Sgrò
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andréa Magiafoglou
    • 1
  • Laetitia Faine
    • 1
  • Ary A. Hoffmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research, Department of GeneticsThe University of Melbourne VictoriaAustralia

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