Mating effort and female receptivity : how do male guppies decide when to invest in sex?

Guevara-Fiore, Palestina, Stapley, Jessica and Watt, Penelope J. 2010, Mating effort and female receptivity : how do male guppies decide when to invest in sex?, Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 1665-1672, doi: 10.1007/s00265-010-0980-6.

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Title Mating effort and female receptivity : how do male guppies decide when to invest in sex?
Author(s) Guevara-Fiore, Palestina
Stapley, Jessica
Watt, Penelope J.
Journal name Behavioral ecology and sociobiology
Volume number 64
Issue number 10
Start page 1665
End page 1672
Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2010-10
ISSN 0340-5443
Keyword(s) sexual selection
male mate choice
mating strategies
female reproductive status
male competition
Summary Males vary in the degree to which they invest in mating. Several factors can explain this variation, including differences in males’ individual condition and the fact that males allocate their energy depending on the context they face in each mating attempt. Particularly, female quality affects male reproductive success. Here, we studied whether male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) strategically allocated more mating effort, in terms of mating behaviour and male–male competition, when they were matched with a receptive (R) female than a non-receptive one. In accordance with our prediction, we found that males increased their mating behaviour when they were with a receptive female. Even though male guppies can inseminate non-receptive females, we only found high levels of courtship between males that were with a receptive female rather than a non-receptive one. Although there was little affect of female receptivity on male–male competition, we found that males chased and interrupted courtships more with receptive females than with non-receptive females regardless of odour. Finally, we also studied whether the sexual pheromone produced by receptive female guppies is a cue that males use in order to increase their mating effort. We found that males were more attracted to a female when they perceived the sexual pheromone, but only increased their mating and aggressive behaviours when females showed receptive behaviour. This strategic increase in mating effort could result in higher male reproductive success because mating attempts towards receptive females are likely to be less costly and males could have a greater probability of fertilisation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00265-010-0980-6
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Springer-Verlag
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