The interval between sexual encounters affects male courtship tactics in a desert-dwelling fish

Svensson, P. Andreas, Lehtonen, Topi K. and Wong, Bob B. M. 2010, The interval between sexual encounters affects male courtship tactics in a desert-dwelling fish, Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1967-1970, doi: 10.1007/s00265-010-1007-z.

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Title The interval between sexual encounters affects male courtship tactics in a desert-dwelling fish
Author(s) Svensson, P. Andreas
Lehtonen, Topi K.
Wong, Bob B. M.
Journal name Behavioral ecology and sociobiology
Volume number 64
Issue number 12
Start page 1967
End page 1970
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date 2010-12
ISSN 0340-5443
Keyword(s) strategic courtship
paternal care
sequential male choice
sexual selection
Summary Courtship displays are often important in determining male mating success but can also be costly. Thus, instead of courting females indiscriminately, males might be expected to adjust their signalling effort strategically. Theory, however, predicts that such adjustments should depend on the rate with which males encounter females, a prediction that has been subject to very little empirical testing. Here, we investigate the effects of female encounter rate on male courtship intensity by manipulating the time interval between sequential presentations of large (high quality) and small (low quality) females in a fish, the Australian desert goby Chlamydogobius eremius. Males that were presented with a small female immediately after a large female reduced their courtship intensity significantly. However, males courted large and small females with equal intensity if the interval between the sequential presentations was longer. Our results suggest that mate encounter rate is an important factor shaping male reproductive decisions and, consequently, the evolutionary potential of sexual selection.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00265-010-1007-z
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Springer-Verlag
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