After a long slog, my colleague Claudia Buser (now in New Zealand) and I (along with our late supervisor from Zurich, Paul Ward) have gone to press at Functional Ecology with her (I think I am allowed to say so) excellent work on maternal plasticity in yellow dung flies.
This photo (by an old mate from Zurich, Roland Gautier) shows yellow males perched above ovipositing olive-coloured females on a dung pat. We experimentally studied whether female perceptions of the conditions their larvae would encounter affected larval fitness. I won’t spoil the punchline, but females are very clever, obviously. Nevertheless, we found no evidence that they are doing anything funny via sperm choice….