Navigation Links
Hidden genitalia in female water striders makes males 'sing'
Date:6/11/2009

In a study published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE June 10, Chang Seok Han and Piotr Jablonski at Seoul National University, Korea, report that by evolving a morphological shield to protect their genitalia from males' forceful copulatory attempts, females of an Asian species of water strider seem to "win" the evolutionary arms race between the sexes. Instead, females only expose their genitalia for copulation after males produce a courtship "song" by tapping the water surface.

150 years after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Han and Jablonski used common insects, water striders, to study the intricacies of evolutionary conflict between males and females. The mechanisms for the way Darwinian natural selection, acting separately on males and females, result in different traits in males than in females (for example, different body sizes to guarantee the highest number of offspring during an individual's lifetime) are already quite well understood.

Sometimes, however, a behavioral trait, such as mating frequency, depends on both the male and the female characteristics. Natural selection favors higher mating frequency in males than in females in many animals, including humans. This leads to an evolutionary "arms race" where males evolve adaptations that force females to mate, while females evolve defenses against males' attempts.

As in the arms races between countries and political powers, it is rare for one sex to "win" in this evolutionary race.

However, in the study by Han and Jablonski, carried out at the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at Seoul National University, females of an Asian species of water striders, Gerris gracilicornis, do seem to win this race as they have evolved a morphological shield behind which their genitalia are hidden from males, protecting them against the males' forceful attempts to mate.

In an apparent response to the female adaptation, after the violent mounting onto the female's back (typical in water striders), males of this species produce courtship signals by tapping the water surface with their middle legs. It is only after receiving the male's "song" that females expose their genitalia for copulation


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Walton
rwalton@plos.org
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
2. Biologists expose hidden costs of firefly flashes
3. UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plants hidden weapon
4. Stanford/Packard researchers find disease genes hidden in discarded data
5. Poor Americans in the United States suffer hidden burden of parasitic and other neglected diseases
6. New plant study reveals a deeply hidden layer of the transcriptome
7. Exploration of lake hidden beneath Antarcticas ice sheet begins
8. Using ground-penetrating radar to observe hidden underground water processes
9. Researchers reveal insights into hidden world of protein folding
10. How hidden mutations contribute to HIV drug resistance
11. Hidden infections crucial to understanding, controlling disease outbreaks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... Ind. , Dec. 6, 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, ... it has priced an offering of €500.0 million principal amount ... million principal amount of its 2.425% senior unsecured notes due ... expected to occur on December 13, 2016, subject to the satisfaction ... an annual basis. The ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Valencell , the leading innovator in ... a third consecutive year of triple digit growth for ... with a 360 percent increase in companies who have ... driven by sales of its wrist and ear Benchmark™ ... technology for hearables for fitness and healthcare applications. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, ... today a five (5) year funding commitment by ... expand the rehabilitation and reentry support to more ... Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up hearing stories of the sea monster her father ... found a sea turtle entangled in the lines of one of his lobster pots. He ... because no one could remember ever seeing one so large so close to shore. After ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Texas , Dec. 6, 2016 The ... for its adoption of arnica ( Arnica montana ... support to ABC,s HerbMedPro database, a ... important scientific and clinical research data on the ... popular herbs. Naturopathica, a wellness company ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; ... quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. ... , , ... and diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products ... Achieved revenues of $1.4 million more than tripling prior years ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... part of the Almac Group, the world’s largest privately-held contract pharmaceutical development ... with inVentiv Health, a leading biopharma outsourcing company combining a leading CRO ...
Breaking Biology Technology: