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Differential Sperm Priming by Male Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna): Effects of Female and Male Size

Summary: Differential Sperm Priming by Male Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia
latipinna): Effects of Female and Male Size
Andrea S. Aspbury & Caitlin R. Gabor
Department of Biology, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, TX,
Recent interest in sperm competition has led to a re-evaluation of the `cheap
sperm' assumption inherent in many studies of sexual selection. In particular,
mounting evidence suggests that male sperm availability can be increased by the
presence of females. However, there is little information on how this interacts with
male traits presumably affected by female mate choice, such as larger size. This
study examines the effects on male sperm availability of female presence, male
body size, and female body size in the sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna. Individual
males of variable body sizes were isolated in divided tanks for 3 d, after which
time either a female or no female was added to the other side of the tank. Prior to
the treatments, larger males had more stripped sperm than smaller males. Female
presence significantly increased the amount of sperm males primed, but this effect
was strongest in small males. Furthermore, males showed a greater priming
response in the presence of larger females than in the presence of smaller females.
These results demonstrate that the presence of sexually mature females increases


Source: Aspbury, Andrea S. - Department of Biology, Texas State University - San Marcos


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology