Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete

19.05.2014

A University of Liverpool study of fruit flies has revealed that males forced to compete with other males become less attractive to females and die young.

In the test, male fruit flies of the species Drosophila subobscura were kept either alone or in groups. The females of this species are monandrous – they only mate once in their lives, meaning that males have to get very lucky to mate at all. As a result males compete furiously for access to females.

Evolutionary biologist, Dr Anne Lizé, who led the study said: "When we see stags fighting over mates, it's obvious what the potential costs to the males are, but in this case it's more subtle. The flies aren't using antlers to beat each other into submission, but instead are harassing each other to the point where exhaustion causes them to die young."

Dr Lizé and her colleagues from the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, think that rivals disrupt the flies' sleep patterns, which has already been identified as a cause of early death in many other species, and is potentially harmful to humans.

Males exposed to rivals fare even worse when they finally do meet a virgin female. Females strongly prefer the males that were kept alone, with females refusing to mate with three quarters of the males that previously had to battle with rivals.

Dr Lizé concluded: "The idea that competition has more subtle effects on a male could be extended to other species that humans are trying to breed or keep healthy."

###

The study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Jamie Brown | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Environment Evolutionary NERC biologist exhaustion females humans male sleep species

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New research reveals fish are smarter than we thought
31.10.2014 | University of Bath & Queen Mary University of London

nachricht Low Carb, High Fat Diets May Reduce Seizures in Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy
31.10.2014 | American Academy of Neurology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Registration Open Now: 18th International ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming

28.10.2014 | Event News

Comparing Apples and Oranges? A Colloquium on International Comparative Urban Research

22.10.2014 | Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens secures two new orders for wind power projects in Canada

31.10.2014 | Press release

Tropical Storm Vance's Center Looks Like a Pumpkin to NASA's Terra Satellite

31.10.2014 | Earth Sciences

Improved funding for innovative companies: KfW introduces "Entrepreneur Loan Plus"

31.10.2014 | Business and Finance

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>