The courtship song emitted by male wing vibration has been regarded as one of the most important signals in sexual isolation in the species of the Drosophila melanogaster complex. Inter- and intraspecific crosses were observed using males whose wings were removed (mute) or females whose aristae were removed (deaf). Females of D. melanogaster, D. simulans, and D. mauritiana mated with heterospecific males in the song-present condition (cross between normal females and winged males) more often than in the no-song condition (cross between normal females and wingless males or between aristaless females and winged males) or they showed no preference between the two conditions. It is possible that in these females heterospecific courtship songs play a role as if they were conspecific. In contrast, the females of D. sechellia mated with D. melanogaster or D. simulans males in the no-song condition more often than in the song-present condition, suggesting that they reject males with heterospecific song. Female mate recognition depending on the courtship song in D. melanogaster, D. simulans, and D. mauritiana is considered to be relatively broader and that in D. sechellia narrower.
Corresponding Editor: J. Mallet