Variation in courtship sounds among three geographical strains of Drosophila mercatorum

Behav Genet. 1980 Jul;10(4):361-75. doi: 10.1007/BF01065598.


Sound recordings of courtship in Drosophila mercatorum were analyzed with an oscilloscope. Sounds in this species consist of two kinds of pulses, referred to as the A and B sounds, respectively. These differ from each other in their oscilloscope pattern and in the behavior accompanying them. A comparative study of three strains from widely separated geographical regions (New York, El Salvador, and Hawaii) revealed significant differences among strains in the interpulse interval (ipi) of the A sound. The ipi of the B sound increased as it proceeded for New York and Hawaii males but not for males from El Salvador. These characteristics may influence mating success in interstrain crosses. The present results suggest that the first steps toward divergence in the nature of the sound are quantitative; this may affect the response threshold of the female. Genetic systems responsible for female receptivity may have been independently developed in the two sexes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Communication*
  • Animals
  • Courtship*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • El Salvador
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Hawaii
  • Male
  • New York
  • Sound