Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 361–373 | Cite as

Copulatory Courtship in Drosophila birchii and D. serrata, Species Recognition and Sexual Selection

  • Anneli Hoikkala
  • Stella Crossley
  • Claudia Castillo-Melendez


Two endemic Australian Drosophila species, D. birchii and D. serrata, have a copulatory courtship, i.e., the males court the female mainly during copulation. In the present study we found the males of both species to mount their prospective mating partners selectively, exhibiting both sex and species recognition. The males began to sing after mounting the female, and they often exhibited also postcopulatory displays typical to copulatory courtship. D. birchii and D. serrata females discriminated against males which did not sing during mounting/copulation, which suggests that the females utilize cryptic female choice. Our findings raise the question of how widespread a phenomenon cryptic female choice is in Drosophila species.

Drosophila copulatory courtship mate choice cryptic female choice 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alcock, J., and Buchmann, S. L. (1985). The significance of post-insemination display by males of Centris pallida (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Z. Tierpsychol. 68: 231-243.Google Scholar
  2. Alonso-Pimentel, H. (1995). Courtship sounds and behavior of the two saguaro-breeding Drosophila and their relatives. Anim. Behav. 50: 1031-1039.Google Scholar
  3. Ayala, F. J. (1965). Sibling species of the Drosophila serrata group. Evolution 19: 538-545.Google Scholar
  4. Bennet-Clark, H. C., Leroy, Y., and Tsacas, L. (1980). Species and sex-specific songs and courtship behavior in the genus Zaprionus (Diptera, Drosophilidae). Anim. Behav. 28: 230-255.Google Scholar
  5. Blows, M. W., and Allan, R. A. (1998). Levels of mate recognition within and between the Drosophila species and their hybrids. Am. Nat. 152: 826-837.Google Scholar
  6. Bock, I. R. (1976). Drosophilidae of Australia 1. Drosophila (Insecta: Diptera). Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series No. 40.Google Scholar
  7. Bock, I. R. (1980). Current status of the Drosophila melanogaster species-group (Diptera). Syst. Entomol. 5: 341-356.Google Scholar
  8. Crossley, S. A. (1986). Courtship sounds and behavior in the four species of the Drosophila bipectinata complex. Anim. Behav. 34: 1146-1159.Google Scholar
  9. Dobzhansky, Th., and Mather, W. B. (1961). The evolutionary status of Drosophila serrata. Evolution 15: 461-467.Google Scholar
  10. Downes, J. A. (1969). The swarming and mating flight in Diptera. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 14: 271-298.Google Scholar
  11. Eberhard, W. G. (1991). Copulatory courtship and cryptic female choice in insects. Biol. Rev. 66: 1-31.Google Scholar
  12. Ewing, A. W. (1983). Functional aspects of Drosophila courtship. Biol. Rev. 58: 275-292.Google Scholar
  13. Hoikkala, A., and Crossley, S. (n.d.). Copulatory courtship in Drosophila: Behavior and songs of D. birchii and D. serrata. J. Insect Behav., in press.Google Scholar
  14. Hoikkala, A., Lakovaara, S., and Romppainen, E. (1982). Mating behavior and male courtship sounds in the Drosophila virilis group. In: Lakovaara, S. (ed.), Advances in Genetics, Development and Evolution of Drosophila, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 407-421.Google Scholar
  15. Neems, R. M., Dooher, K., Butlin, R., and Shorrocks, B. (1997). Differences in male courtship song among the species of the quinaria group of Drosophila. J. Insect Behav. 10: 237-246.Google Scholar
  16. Oguma, Y., Kurokawa, H., Akai, S. M., Tamaki, H., and Kajita, J. (1987). Interspecific differences in some courtship behavioral properties among the four species belonging to the Drosophila auraria complex. Zool. Sci. 4: 889-896.Google Scholar
  17. Spieth, H. T. (1974). Courtship behavior in Drosophila. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 19: 385-405.Google Scholar
  18. Thornhill, R. (1983). Cryptic female choice and its implications in the scorpionfly Harpobittacus nigriceps. Am. Nat. 122: 765-788.Google Scholar
  19. Tomaru, M., and Oguma, Y. (1994). Differences in courtship song in the species of the Drosophila auraria complex. Anim. Behav. 47: 133-140.Google Scholar
  20. von Schilcher, F., and Dow, M. (1977). Courtship behavior in Drosophila: Sexual isolation or sexual selection. Z. Tierpsychol. 43: 304-310.Google Scholar
  21. Wasserman, M. J., Heller, J., and Zombek, J. (1971). Male determined sexual discrimination in the species Drosophila pegasa. Am. Midl. Nat. 86: 231-235.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anneli Hoikkala
    • 1
  • Stella Crossley
    • 2
  • Claudia Castillo-Melendez
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Personalised recommendations