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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com Female mate choice copying affects sexual selection in wild
 

Summary: Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Female mate choice copying affects sexual selection in wild
populations of the ocellated wrasse
SUZANNE H. ALONZO
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
(Received 5 June 2007; initial acceptance 23 July 2007;
final acceptance 14 September 2007; published online 14 March 2008; MS. number: A10786R)
Explaining the factors that determine the distribution of mating success among males is essential to our
understanding of sexual selection. Classic theory has focused on how competition among males and
female choice for traits of the male or his territory drive sexual selection. Recent theory has also shown
that female mate choice copying can alter the strength and direction of selection on male traits. Yet, we
know very little about the prevalence and importance of nonindependent female choice in wild popula-
tions. In a species with male territoriality and paternal care (the ocellated wrasse, Symphodus ocellatus), I
first show that females express nonindependent mate choice, responding both to the recent mating suc-
cess of the male and to the presence of other spawning females rather than to variation in male courtship
or defence of the nest. Females were significantly more likely to spawn with the same male when another
spawning female was present than when they were alone at the nest, providing some of the first direct ev-
idence of female mate choice copying under natural conditions in the wild. I further show that a short-
term experimental increase in a territorial male's mating success attracts more females in the future and
increases male paternal care. These observed patterns of female choice and male care are consistent

  

Source: Alonzo, Suzanne H. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine