Fit and fat from enlarged badges: a field experiment on male sand lizards

Sofia Anderholm, Mats Olsson, Erik Wapstra, Karin Ryberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the impact of nuptial coloration (the badge) on male fitness in the Swedish sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), we conducted a manipulation experiment in a natural population. Males in one group had their badges enlarged by being painted as cheaters and were compared to a control group with respect to mate acquisition, body condition and survival. Badge enlargement did not affect survival, but elevated mate acquisition by almost 400%, and body condition in small males. This increase in condition is likely to stem from greater access to female-associated sites with high food availability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S142-S144
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Badge manipulation
  • Condition
  • Reproductive success
  • Signalling
  • Status


Dive into the research topics of 'Fit and fat from enlarged badges: a field experiment on male sand lizards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this