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Courtship signalling with a labile bilateral signal: males show their best side
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5791-336X
2009 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 63, no 12, 1717-1725 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Asymmetries in courtship signals can result from both developmental instability during ontogeny and from temporary or permanent damage following mating, fighting, or interactions with predators. These two types of asymmetries, which can be divided into fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and damage asymmetry (DA), have both been suggested to play an important role in mate choice as potential honest indicators of phenotypic and/or genetic quality, while at the same time, DA may affect ornament asymmetry in a random manner. Interestingly, despite the massive research effort that has been devoted to the study of asymmetry during the past decades, very little is known about how an individual's behaviour relates to asymmetry. Here, we measure and characterise asymmetry in morphological courtship signals in Corynopoma riisei, a fish where males carry elaborate paddle-like appendices on each side of the body that they display in front of females during courtship. Moreover, we investigate whether male courtship display, employing this bilateral morphological trait, reflects trait asymmetry. Finally, we assess whether males respond to phenotypic manipulations of DA with corresponding changes in courtship behaviour. We show that male display behaviour is asymmetric in a manner that reflects asymmetry of their morphological courtship trait and that male display behaviour responds to manipulations of asymmetry of these paddles. Our results thus suggest that males preferentially use their best side and, hence, that males respond adaptively to temporary changes in signal trait asymmetry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 63, no 12, 1717-1725 p.
Keyword [en]
Sexual signalling, Sexual selection, Lateralization, Mate choice, Sensory bias, Indicator, Self-awareness
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-127482DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0785-7ISI: 000270684200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-127482DiVA: diva2:330297
Available from: 2010-07-15 Created: 2010-07-13 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fishing for Females: Sensory Exploitation in the Swordtail Characin
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fishing for Females: Sensory Exploitation in the Swordtail Characin
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mate choice plays an important role in sexual selection and speciation. The evolution of mate choice is intriguing in cases where choosy individuals gain little except for genetic material from the mate and where the trait used as a criterion for the choice is costly to its bearer. The sensory exploitation hypothesis is an interesting idea that applies to such cases because it suggests that sexual preferences may arise as side-effects of preferences that are under selection in other contexts. The role of mate choice in speciation is strong but is debated because the reasons for population divergence in mate preferences and sexual traits are sometimes hard to explain. Also in this context sensory exploitation offers a potential explanation in that a link between natural and sexual selection may result in divergence in sexual selection whenever populations differ in natural selection.

In this thesis, I test several aspects of this hypothesis in a species of fish, the swordtail characin (Corynopoma riisei). In this species males display a flag-like ornament that grows from the operculum. Because females respond to this ornament by biting at it, it has been proposed to act as a food-mimic. By manipulating female food type and quantity, and testing the resulting female preference for the male ornament, I find support for the theory that the preference has evolved through sensory exploitation and that females indeed appear to relate the ornament to a food item. Furthermore, I show that sensory exploitation can lead to morphological divergence among natural populations in this species. Apart from the flag-ornament, other courtship signals are also investigated. The results show that the relative importance of different signals may vary depending on receiver motivation. This suggests that various aspects of both male courtship signals and the conditions during which they are being signalled should be considered to gain a full understanding of mate choice and its role in sexual selection and speciation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 43 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1076
Keyword
Sexual selection, Mate choice, Courtship, Sensory bias, Plasticity, Corynopoma riisei, Mulitiple signalling
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Zoology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207334 (URN)978-91-554-8758-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-31, Ekmansalen, Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-09 Created: 2013-09-12 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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Amcoff, MirjamArnqvist, GöranKolm, Niclas

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