Project properties

Title Evolution of a serenade: how wing size changes
courtship and male fitness in Nasonia wasps
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 12-18
Supervisor(s) Filippo Guerra (ENT), Eveline C. Verhulst (ENT)
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke (ENT)
Contact info
Begin date 2020/01/31
End date 2020/01/31
Description In Nasonia vitripennis, sexual selection has resulted in a dramatically reduced size of male wings to the extent that males are flightless. Other Nasonia species also present remarkable sexual dimorphism, but why? The current theories to explain the diversification of male wing morphology in Nasonia are based on the observation that males use wings during courtship: species-specific wings produce species-specific songs and allow avoidance of costly, fruitless interspecific mating.

In this project, we want to evaluate whether the driving force for wing morphology diversification is indeed sexual selection, as allegedly stated by several researchers. We will do this by recording and analyzing male courtship songs of different Nasonia species and evaluate how this influences the mating preferences of the female.

In this project you will:
- record and analyze Nasonia spp. courtship songs
- observe and analyze female mating preferences;
Used skills recording and analysis of animal behaviour, insect rearing
Requirements No special requirements