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

Sofia Anderholm, Mats Olsson, Erik Wapstra, Karin Ryberg

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    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


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