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Keywords:

  • Cryptic female choice;
  • inbreeding depression;
  • mate choice;
  • postcopulatory sexual selection;
  • sperm competition

Selection to avoid inbreeding is predicted to vary across species due to differences in population structure and reproductive biology. Over the past decade, there have been numerous investigations of postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance, a phenomenon that first requires discrimination of mate (or sperm) relatedness and then requires mechanisms of male ejaculate tailoring and/or cryptic female choice to avoid kin. The number of studies that have found a negative association between male–female genetic relatedness and competitive fertilization success is roughly equal to the number of studies that have not found such a relationship. In the former case, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. The present study was undertaken to verify and expand upon a previous report of postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance in D. melanogaster, as well as to resolve underlying mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance using transgenic flies that express a sperm head-specific fluorescent tag. However, siblings did not have a lower fertilization success as compared to unrelated males in either the first (P1) or second (P2) mate role in sperm competition with a standard unrelated competitor male in our study population of D. melanogaster. Analyses of mating latency, copulation duration, egg production rate, and remating interval further revealed no evidence for inbreeding avoidance.