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Plastic Responses Of Male Drosophila Melanogaster To The Level Of Sperm Competition Increase Male Reproductive Fitness

Males of many species respond to the presence of rivals, but direct tests of the consequences of responding are lacking.

We found that exposure to rival males prior to mating increased a male’s investment in his ejaculate (measured as mating duration). In contrast, exposure to rivals in the mating arena decreased mating duration. We then tested whether males that responded to the level of sperm competition had higher reproductive fitness.

We found that males exposed to rivals before mating achieved significantly higher paternity share regardless of whether they were the first or second males to mate with a female.

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Proceedings B is the Royal Society’s flagship biological research journal, dedicated to the rapid publication and broad dissemination of high-quality research papers, reviews and comment and reply papers. The scope of the journal is diverse and is especially strong in organismal biology.

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