Genital coupling and copulatory wounding in the Drosophila auraria species complex (Diptera: Drosophilidae)

Moe Onuma, Yoshitaka Kamimura, Kyoichi Sawamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Animal genitalia have changed substantially and rapidly during evolution, and functionally interacting anatomical structures complementarily match between the sexes. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain how such structure-matching evolved. A test of these hypotheses would require a detailed analysis of male and female genitalia among closely related species and a comparison of the functional aspects of the interacting structures between the sexes. Therefore, here we document genital coupling and copulatory wounds in the four species of the Drosophila auraria complex. The position of the protrusion of the median gonocoxite of males relative to the female terminalia differed among the species, which may reflect differences in protrusion morphology. Species-specific female structures were discovered on the membrane between the genitalia and analia and on the vaginal wall. The former makes contact with the protrusion, and the latter makes contact with appendages of the aedeagus. Copulatory wounds, which are produced during copulation, were seen at three locations on females: depressions near the genital orifice, the membrane between the genitalia and analia, and the vaginal wall. Some of the copulatory wounds were located at sites that could potentially make contact with the species-specific structures that we identified. We speculate that the female structures that differ between species of the D. auraria complex evolved in concert with the genitalia of male conspecifics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


  • Drosophila biauraria
  • Drosophila subauraria
  • Drosophila triauraria
  • coevolution
  • species-specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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