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Male size, not female preferences influence female reproductive success in a poeciliid fish (Poecilia latipinna): a combined behavioural/genetic approach

By Ulrike Scherer, Ralph Tiedemann and Ingo Schlupp


Abstract Objective We investigated the potential role of indirect benefits for female mate preferences in a highly promiscuous species of live-bearing fishes, the sailfin molly Poecilia latipinna using an integrative approach that combines methods from animal behavior, life-history evolution, and genetics. Males of this species solely contribute sperm for reproduction, and consequently females do not receive any direct benefits. Despite this, females typically show clear mate preferences. It has been suggested that females can increase their reproductive success through indirect benefits from choosing males of higher quality. Results Although preferences for large body size have been recorded as an honest signal for genetic quality, this particular study resulted in female preference being unaffected by male body size. Nonetheless, larger males did sire more offspring, but with no effect on offspring quality. This study presents a methodical innovation by combining preference testing with life history measurements—such as the determination of the dry weight of fish embryos—and paternity analyses on single fish embryos

Topics: Fitness, Life history, Mate choice, Microsatellite analysis, Offspring weight, Paternity analysis, Medicine, R, Biology (General), QH301-705.5
Publisher: BMC
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1186/s13104-018-3487-2
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