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Proc Biol Sci. 1996 Jun 22;263(1371):755-9.

Female fitness in Drosophila melanogaster: an interaction between the effect of nutrition and of encounter rate with males.

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Department of Biology, University College London, UK.


Female Drosophila melanogaster were maintained at five levels of nutrition, with either continuous or intermittent exposure to males. Remaining frequency increased with nutrition and was higher with continuous exposure to males. Age-specific and lifetime egg production increased with increasing nutrition, but lifespan peaked at intermediate nutrition. Females on the three highest nutritional levels showed a cost of mating in reduced survival, but only at the highest food level did this reduced lifespan lead to a significant cost of mating for lifetime egg production. The data suggest that remating frequencies in laboratory cultures may evolve to a low enough level for the cost of mating to be only weakly expressed, if at all. Further data are required to assess the importance of the cost of mating in natural populations, where the evolution of low remating frequencies might be expected to be opposed by other costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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