uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sequential polyandry affords post-mating sexual selection in the mouths of cichlid females
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
2009 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 63, no 8, 1219-1230 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Females mating with multiple males may obtain direct benefits such as nuptial gifts or paternal care or indirect (i.e. genetic) benefits resulting in higher-quality offspring. While direct benefits are easily identified, it is difficult to determine indirect benefits, and it is hence largely unclear how they are obtained. This is particularly true in species with external fertilisation, where females seem to have little control over fertilisation. In cichlids, most maternal mouthbrooders show sequential multiple mating, where females visit several males for egg deposition. Genetic data revealed that multiple paternity of eggs and young in the mouth of females is common, but behavioural data of female spawning decisions are missing. Here, we test four hypotheses to explain female multiple mating in the maternally mouthbrooding cichlid, Ophthalmotilapia ventralis: (1) fertilisation insurance, (2) genetic bet-hedging, (3) female choice and (4) 'sperm shopping' (i.e. induction of sperm competition resulting in sexually selected sperm). Detailed observations of spawning behaviour in the field combined with histological analyses of the male reproductive organs suggest that fertilisation insurance, genetic bet-hedging and pre-mating female choice are unlikely to explain the sequential female multiple mating in O. ventralis. Instead, cryptic female choice by sperm shopping, i.e. post-mating sexual selection, is most compatible with our data and might be the major ultimate cause of multiple mating in females of this species and of mouthbrooding cichlids with maternal care in general. Our study provides new insight into ultimate causes of sequential polyandry in species with external fertilisation, as hitherto post-mating sexual selection by cryptic female choice has been assumed to be incompatible with external fertilisation mechanisms except by components of the ovarian fluid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 63, no 8, 1219-1230 p.
Keyword [en]
Polyandry, External fertilisation, Sperm competition, Cryptic female choice, Ophthalmotilapia ventralis, Lake Tanganyika, Testis histology
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142308DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0744-3ISI: 000266266300014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-142308DiVA: diva2:387794
Available from: 2011-01-14 Created: 2011-01-13 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Immler, Simone
By organisation
Animal Ecology
In the same journal
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 130 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link