The evolutionary history of Drosophila buzzatii. XX. Positive phenotypic covariance between field adult fitness components and body size

Mauro Santos, Alfredo Ruiz, Jorge E. Quezada‐Díaz, Antonio Barbadilla, Antonio Fontdevila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the cactophilic species Drosphila buzzatii, it is feasible to infer the action of natural selection by simultaneously sampling different life history stages in the field. During four years of research, samples of mating and non‐mating adults and pupae were taken from a natural population. The main adult fitness components, i.e., mating success, longevity, and fecundity, were recorded in relation to body size, as measured by thorax length. The age of flies was estimated by observing the developmental stage of the reproductive system. Our data showed that larger flies can outlive and outmate small flies, and that mating success is related to age. An estimate of the fitness function showed a linear increase of mating success with increasing thorax length. There was no assortative mating for this trait. We advance the hypothesis that mating success is related to the rate of encounter and courtship time through general activity, which in turn may be related to body size. A positive phenotypic correlation between thorax length and ovariole number, which is related to fecundity, was found in females emerged from wild pupae. Neither the phenotypic nor the genetic (additive) correlations between these two traits were statistically different from zero in laboratory reared females. The genetic consequences of the observed phenotypic selection on body size are discussed. Copyright © 1992, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-422
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

Keywords

  • adult fitness components
  • age‐structure
  • Drosophila
  • natural population
  • thorax length

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