Species recognition and mate preference both influence mate choice but can be in conflict with each other. In such cases the relative importance of the two functions depends on the costs of mating with heterospecifics and the frequency of such interactions. We tested whether male flat lizards (Platysaurus broadleyi) are able to discriminate between conspecific females and females of its allopatric sister species P. capensis. Given a simultaneous choice between equally sized females of both species, males courted conspecific females in 85% of trials. We then tested whether mate preference for large female body size can override species recognition. When offered a choice between a larger heterospecific female and a smaller conspecific, males showed no preference for conspecifics and courted larger heterospecific females in 58% of trials. Comparison of the two sets of trials showed a significant effect of female body size on male mate preference, supporting the hypothesis that mate quality can override species recognition.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2003|
- Conflicting preference
- Mate preference
- Species recognition