Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bennett, Jack (Cecil Jackson)

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Drosophila melanogaster


Different eye pigment genes were found to affect courtship and mating behavior in competition among females. Drosophila melanogaster. Inbred lines, co-isogenic except at the specific mutant loci were observed in mating chambers where one wild type Oregon-R-1nbred (ORI) male was confronted with two females. The four inbred mutant stocks used were: ORI-w, ORi-cn, ORI-bw and ORI-cnbw. All flies were isolated within eight hours after eclosion, allowed to mature for three days, unanesthetized, and observed for twenty minutes. Three behavioral components were recorded for each test where mating occurred: courtship latency, or the time of orientation, mating speed, or duration of courtship, and copulation time. Approximately 100 tests were performed for each of the fifteen possible combinations of females. In no-choice mating situations, all of the mutant females except ORI-cnbw exhibited a higher rate of mating frequency than the wild type 0RI-+ females. In choice matings, combinations of 0R!-w females equalled or exceeded all other mating combinations. Three of the female mutants in choice matings with the wild type female were more successful. Orientation time of the 0RI-+ male was longest in matings with the homotypic 0RI-+ females. All mutants in both choice and no-choice mating combinations have shorter orientation times than the 0RI-+ females. Mating speed (duration of courtship) of ORI-+ males and 0RI- + females in no-choice mating situations was somewhat shorter than average in comparison with other no-choice matings. Other mutant combinations have longer courtship times and it is concluded that the mutants are not as receptive to the courting 0RI-+ male as the 0RI-+ female. Copulation time in all fifteen mating combinations demonstrates no significant difference. These studies indicate that the female is playing a significant role in determining the number of successful matings, the length of courtship latency and the length of courtship and the that the w, cn, and bw loci affect these behaviors through pleiotropic effects on characteristics other than pigments.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


xi, 58 pages




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