Male mate preference for large size overrides species recognition in allopatric flat lizards (Platysaurus broadleyi)

Monica N. Wymann, Martin J. Whiting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalActa Ethologica
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conflicting preference
  • Cordylidae
  • Mate preference
  • Species recognition
  • Squamata

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