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Competitor size, male mating success and mate choice in eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
2013 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 85, no 2, 371-375 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Males usually compete for mates but, by choosing a favourable social environment (e.g. avoiding stronger competitors), males might increase their reproductive success. We first tested whether the mate choice of male eastern mosquitofish depended on the size of potential competitors. In two-choice trials, focal males preferred to associate with a group of large males over a group of small males. However, when both stimulus groups also contained females, focal males associated equally often with the group with large males and the group with small males. We then quantified the effect of competitor size on the relative mating success (proportion of all mating attempts) of males competing for access to a female. In mating trials, the relative mating success of focal males increased with focal male size. In addition, focal males had higher mating success when competing in a group of small males than a group of large males. We suggest that the benefits of associating with small male competitors in a mating context (greater mating success) are balanced by other benefits that have led to a general preference for associating with larger males. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 85, no 2, 371-375 p.
Keyword [en]
eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, mate choice, mate competition, social context
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196540DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.11.009ISI: 000314683000010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196540DiVA: diva2:610832
Available from: 2013-03-13 Created: 2013-03-11 Last updated: 2013-03-13Bibliographically approved

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