Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Oct 7;281(1792). pii: 20140821. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0821.

Time flies: Time of day and social environment affect cuticular hydrocarbon sexual displays in Drosophila serrata.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, 30 Marie-Curie Priv., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5 Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University at Marion, 1465 Mount Vernon Avenue, Marion, OH 43302, USA
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, 30 Marie-Curie Priv., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5.


Recent work on Drosophila cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) challenges a historical assumption that CHCs in flies are largely invariant. Here, we examine the effect of time of day and social environment on a suite of sexually selected CHCs in Drosophila serrata. We demonstrate that males become more attractive to females during the time of day that flies are most active and when most matings occur, but females become less attractive to males during the same time of day. These opposing temporal changes may reflect differences in selection among the sexes. To evaluate the effect of social environment on male CHC attractiveness, we manipulated male opportunity for mating: male flies were housed either alone, with five females, with five males or with five males and five females. We found that males had the most attractive CHCs when with females, and less attractive CHCs when with competitor males. Social environment mediated how male CHC attractiveness cycled: males housed with females and/or other males showed temporal changes in CHC attractiveness, whereas males housed alone did not. In total, our results demonstrate temporal patterning of male CHCs that is dependent on social environment, and suggest that such changes may be beneficial to males.


circadian; locomotion; mating; pheromones; sexual selection; temporal

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center