Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 278903, 10 pages
Research Article

Cuticular Hydrocarbon Content that Affects Male Mate Preference of Drosophila melanogaster from West Africa

1Department of Population Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan
2Department of Genetics, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima 411-8540, Japan
3Science and Technology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
4Laboratory of Insect Behavior, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), Ohwashi 1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0851, Japan
5Center for Bioresource Field Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
6Insect Biomedical Research Center, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
7Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kobe University, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
8Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Received 14 July 2011; Accepted 16 November 2011

Academic Editor: Chau-Ti Ting

Copyright © 2012 Aya Takahashi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intraspecific variation in mating signals and preferences can be a potential source of incipient speciation. Variable crossability between Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans among different strains suggested the abundance of such variations. A particular focus on one combination of D. melanogaster strains, TW1(G23) and Mel6(G59), that showed different crossabilities to D. simulans, revealed that the mating between females from the former and males from the latter occurs at low frequency. The cuticular hydrocarbon transfer experiment indicated that cuticular hydrocarbons of TW1 females have an inhibitory effect on courtship by Mel6 males. A candidate component, a C25 diene, was inferred from the gas chromatography analyses. The intensity of male refusal of TW1 females was variable among different strains of D. melanogaster, which suggested the presence of variation in sensitivity to different chemicals on the cuticle. Such variation could be a potential factor for the establishment of premating isolation under some conditions.