Female mate-choice copying is a social learning phenomenon whereby a female's observation of a successful sexual interaction between a male and another female increases her likelihood of subsequently preferring that male. Although mate-choice copying has been documented in several vertebrate species, to our knowledge it has not yet been investigated in insects. Here, we investigated whether female mate-choice copying occurs in the fruit fly Drosophila serrata, a model system for the study of mate preferences and the sexual selection they generate. We used two complementary experiments in which focal females were given a choice between two males that differed in either their apparent (as determined visually by the focal female) or actual recent mating success. Mate-choice copying was evaluated by testing whether focal females mated more frequently with the 'preferred' male as opposed to the other male. In both experiments, however, we found no evidence for mate-choice copying. We discuss possible reasons for the apparent absence of mate-choice copying in this species.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Drosophila serrata, Mate preferences, Mate-choice copying, Sexual selection, Social learning
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2009.03.004
Journal Behavioural Processes
Auld, H.L. (Heather L.), Punzalan, D. (David), Godin, J.-G.J, & Rundle, H.D. (Howard D.). (2009). Do female fruit flies (Drosophila serrata) copy the mate choice of others?. Behavioural Processes, 82(1), 78–80. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2009.03.004