Attractive males do not sire superior daughters

Michelle L. Taylor, Nina Wedell, David J. Hosken

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Much of the recent work on the evolution of female choice has focused on the relative influence of direct and indirect benefits, and particularly whether direct costs can be offset by indirect benefits. Studies investigating whether attractive males benefit females by increasing the viability of their offspring often report mating advantages to sons consistent with the Fisher process, while detecting no or weak viability benefits. One potential reason for this is that sons may trade-off viability benefits with investment in costly traits that enhance mating success, leading to the suggestion that viability benefits may be better detected by examining daughters' fitness. Here we investigate the relationship between male attractiveness and daughters' fitness in Drosophila simulans. We measured daughter (and dam) lifetime reproductive success and longevity. We found no evidence that attractive males sire high fitness daughters. Additionally, neither daughters nor dams gained direct benefits from mating with attractive males. However, aspects of daughters' fitness were related to dam characters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-205
    Number of pages11
    JournalEvolutionary Ecology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • Daughters' fitness
    • Female preference
    • Indirect genetic benefits
    • Maternal effects


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