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Multiple paternity in wild-caught Drosophila mojavensis


Therese A. Markow, Fax: 520-621-9190, E-mail:


Female remating frequency and sperm allocation patterns can strongly influence levels of sperm competition and reproductive success in natural populations. In the laboratory, Drosophila mojavensis males transfer very few sperm per copulation and females remate often, suggesting multiple paternity should be common in nature. Here, we examine female sperm loads, incidence of multiple paternity, and sperm utilization by genotyping progeny from 20 wild-caught females at four highly polymorphic microsatellite loci. Based on indirect paternity analyses of 814 flies, we found evidence for high levels of multiple paternity coupled with relatively low reproductive output, consistent with the high levels of female remating predicted in this sperm-limited species. Overall, we found little evidence for last - male sperm precedence though some temporal variation in sperm utilization was observed, consistent with laboratory findings.