Decay of Female Sexual Behavior Under Parthenogenesis

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Science  01 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4567, pp. 68-70
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4567.68


A laboratory strain of Drosophila mercatorum has existed for 20 years without males and therefore without natural selection operating to maintain the genetic basis of female mating behavior. The females of this strain have recently experienced a genetic impairment of mating capacity. This observation exemplifies the mode of evolution of vestigial characters and supports Muller's theory that random mutation will tend to destroy the genetic basis of a character from which selection has been removed.