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:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... by a wide range of overlapping clinical features. The advancement of targeted next-generation ... field of NDD research and testing. , However, designing a custom panel ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Co-Diagnostics, ... developed and intends both to manufacture and sell reagents used for diagnostic tests, ... Market. , Headquartered in Sandy, Utah, Co-Diagnostics’ intellectual property and technologies are protected ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2017 , ... ... equipment and analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of Rocking ... five rocking and waving shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications ...
(Date:7/15/2017)... ... July 15, 2017 , ... Cuvette manufacturer FireflySci has ... this time, the people at FFS have learned that their biggest asset was their ... are able to launch new products to meet the changing needs of scientists at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: