Sexual Selection and Aggressive Behavior in Drosophila

  • Yong-Kyu Kim

In animals, females make large but few nutritious eggs and males produce small but many mobile sperm. There are tremendous amounts of competition between males over access to females, and females discriminate among their mating partners. Sexual selection arises from differences in reproductive success caused by competition for mates. Sexual selection is a mechanism by which conspicuous traits such as large body size, bright colors, songs, weapons as well as behaviors are highly favored to attract more mates and the traits enhance fitness of individuals (Andersson, 1994; Fisher, 1930; Kirkpatrick, 1987; Lande, 1981). There are two types of sexual selection: (1) intrasexual selection, a competition within the same sex, usually males, for mates and (2) intersexual selection, mate selection by females. Intrasexual selection can occur in the form of competition for females without fighting with other males or in the form of contest between males. Morphological traits such as large body size, weaponry, and armor as well as aggressiveness are favored in the form of male–male competition. When males, however, are unable to monopolize either females or any resource vital to females, males advertise themselves for mates by displaying courtship, territory, songs, and ornaments.


Sexual Selection Mating Success Mushroom Body Cuticular Hydrocarbon Drosophila Species 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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