Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 637–650 | Cite as

Female remating rate and pattern of sperm use suggest intense sperm competition in Drosophila antonietae (Diptera: Drosophilidae)

  • L. Fernandez GoyaEmail author
  • J. HurtadoEmail author
  • E. HassonEmail author
Original Paper


Sperm competition is conceived as a powerful selective force which acts on genes related to reproduction, promoting the evolution of reproductive adaptations and inter-population divergence that may ultimately lead to speciation. Such selective pressure is believed to be particularly strong in species from the Drosophila repleta group since females of most of these species are highly promiscuous. However, sperm competition is determined by many other factors far less explored than female remating rate; consequently, its actual intensity as a selective pressure continues to remain unknown across most taxa. In this paper, we aim to estimate the intensity of sperm competition in Drosophila antonietae, a South American species from the D. repleta group, by means of behavioural and genetic analyses. In sum, our results, while failing to reveal sperm precedence in twice-mated females, show that sperm competition is likely to occur and may strongly reduce males’ reproductive output. In addition, using highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, we confirmed a high incidence of multiple paternity in wild-inseminated females. We discuss the results within an evolutionary context comparing the mating system between D. antonietae and closely related species.


Mating system Polyandry Sexual selection 



The authors wish to thank three anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions helped improve the earlier version of this paper. We also thank L. Cavallino, M. Rodriguero and laboratory members for comments that helped in different stages of the work reported herein. This work was supported with University of Buenos Aires, CONICET and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Técnica Grants awarded to EH.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 10 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 997 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Ecología Genética y Evolución de la ciudad de Buenos AiresConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina

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