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Female mate choice is not affected by mate condition in a fish with male care
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
2013 (English)In: Acta Ethologica, ISSN 0873-9749, E-ISSN 1437-9546, Vol. 16, no 3, 189-194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several studies have shown that mate choice based on condition leads to higher reproductive success of the choosing individual. Yet, a growing body of literature has failed to find support for mate choice based on mate condition, even when the choosing individual would clearly benefit from such a choice. This indicates that animals' mate choice is often more complex than currently appreciated and that even well-founded expected preferences cannot be taken for granted. Using the broad-nosed pipefish, Syngnathus typhle, we manipulated male condition experimentally to explore whether it affects female mate choice. In this sex-role-reversed species, males care for the offspring in a specialised brood pouch. Males are the choosier sex, but given the opportunity, females are selective as well. During brooding, males can both provide embryos with nutrients and take up nutrients that originate from eggs deposited in the pouch, and embryo survival correlates positively with male condition. Together, this suggests that it would be beneficial for females to mate with males in high condition. However, we found no female preference for males in better condition. Thus, this study adds to the literature of mate choice that is unaffected by mate condition. Possible reasons for our result are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 16, no 3, 189-194 p.
Keyword [en]
Condition dependence, Female choice, Inter-sexual selection, Paternal care, Syngnathidae
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209152DOI: 10.1007/s10211-013-0149-1ISI: 000324489400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209152DiVA: diva2:656282
Available from: 2013-10-15 Created: 2013-10-15 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Sundin, Josefin
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