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Lack of discrimination of sex and maturity of conspecifics in the copulation attempts of the male stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens (Diptera: Diopsidae)

Abstract

Among insects, males have evolved the ability to discriminate potential mates to avoid vain mating attempts. In Diptera, courtship and mating behaviors of species that do not discriminate potential mates have rarely been studied. In this study, we investigated copulation attempts of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens males, which do not engage in any observable pre-copulatory courtship behavior. We found that sexually mature males attempted to copulate with mature males and immature adults of both sexes, as frequently as with mature females. Successful copulation only occurred with mature females. Immature females rejected mounting males by vibrating their bodies and immature and mature males by incurving their abdomen downward. Comparison of the cuticular hydrocarbon components of individuals of different sexes and maturity levels indicated that the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were similar regardless of the sex and sexual maturity. Therefore, we suggest that visual or chemical information are of little use for males S. detrahens in discriminating receptive conspecific mates. Since elaborate mate discrimination behaviors lead to additional time and energy costs when discrimination is difficult, S. detrahens may increase reproductive success simply by increasing the number of copulation attempts. Digital video images related to this article are available at http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo211123sd01a, http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo211123sd02a, http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo211123sd03a, and http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo211123sd04a.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Dr. Haruna Fujioka and Dr. Yasukazu Okada for their help in the collection of flies, and Dr. Wataru Kojima for his help in the collection of flies and his comments on this manuscript. We also thank Dr. Andrew Pomiankowski and an anonymous reviewer for several comments that were helpful for improving our manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by a research grant from the Nakatsuji Foresight Foundation.

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Correspondence to Ayumi Kudo.

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Supplementary Information

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Supplementary file 1 (DOCX 16 KB)

Supplementary file 2 (DOCX 21 KB)

Supplementary file 3 (XLSX 21 KB)

Supplementary file 4 (MOV 43530 KB) Copulation behavior of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens mature male and female.

Supplementary file 4 (MOV 43530 KB) Copulation behavior of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens mature male and female.

Supplementary file 5 (MOV 26088 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with mature male.

Supplementary file 5 (MOV 26088 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with mature male.

Supplementary file 6 (MOV 28513 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with immature female

Supplementary file 6 (MOV 28513 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with immature female

Supplementary file 7 (MOV 19230 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with immature male

Supplementary file 7 (MOV 19230 KB) Copulation attempt of the stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens: mature male with immature male

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Kudo, A., Fujii, T. & Ishikawa, Y. Lack of discrimination of sex and maturity of conspecifics in the copulation attempts of the male stalk-eyed fly, Sphyracephala detrahens (Diptera: Diopsidae). J Ethol 40, 123–131 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-021-00735-w

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-021-00735-w

Keywords

  • Sexual maturity
  • Cuticular hydrocarbons
  • Gustatory cues
  • Poor sex recognition