Most Drosophila species sing species-specific pulse songs during their “precopulatory courtship.” Three sibling species of the Drosophila montium species subgroup performed “copulatory courtship”: males generated courtship songs by vibrating either wing only after mounting and during copulation. In these three species, strong sexual isolation was detected between D. ohnishii and D. lini and between D. ohnishii and D. ogumai, but not between D. lini and D. ogumai. Female showed strong repelling behavior when they were mounted by a heterospecific male in the species combinations including D. ohnishii, resulting in failure of the copulation attempt of the male. Acoustic analyses of courtship songs revealed that the pulse song was irregular, without any species-specific parameters, but that the frequency of the sine song was different among the three species in accordance with the modes of sexual isolation between them; it was significantly lower in D. ohnishii (mean ± SE = 193.0 ± 1.7 Hz) but higher in D. lini (253.4 ± 2.7 Hz) and D. ogumai (246.7 ± 5.3 Hz). We suggest that this difference in the sine song frequency is a sexual signal in the Specific Mate Recognition System (SMRS) among these three Drosophila species.
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Vol. 28 • No. 7