Reproductive interference by male Drosophila subobscura on female D. persimilis: A laboratory experiment.
While females often reject courtship attempts by heterospecific males, reproductive interference by harassment from such males can nonetheless occur, potentially reducing female fitness. Such effects may be profound following a range expansion, when males from a new species may suddenly encounter (and perhaps even become abundant relative to) females of related native species. Drosophila subobscura recently invaded North America and may impact native species through reproductive interference and other processes. We test for the potential for reproductive interference by D. subobscura males on D. persimilis females in the laboratory. D. subobscura males aggressively copulated with D. persimilis females, including many females that exhibit rejection behaviors. Despite females attempting to dismount the males, the heterospecific copulations are on average longer than conspecific copulations, and females exhibit some reluctance to remate with conspecific males following this harassment. Females confined with both conspecific and heterospecific males produce fewer adult progeny than those with either conspecific males only or with conspecific males and distantly related D. simulans males that do not engage in female harassment. Overall, our results illustrate how reproductive interference by an invasive species can have negative effects on resident natural populations.
Manzano-Winkler, B; Hish, AJ; Aarons, EK; Noor, MAF
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