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Testing the quality of carriers: a field experiment on lizard signallers

Author:
  • Mats Olsson
  • Mo Healey
  • Erik Wapstra
  • Tobias Uller
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 695-701
Publication/Series: Evolution
Volume: 63
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

In the Australian painted dragon lizard (Ctenophorus pictus), males occur in two different morphs with respect to gular color, with or without a yellow bib. Males without a bib lost within-clutch paternity significantly more often to rivals than bibbed males. Thus, it appears that bibs identify some phenotypic advantage linked to competitive ability. To test whether this could be related to whole-organism capacity to withstand an increased workload (due to better health and vigor, or evolved differences in self-maintenance), we implanted males with a lead pellet (loaded), Styrofoam pellet (controls), or sham-operated males without implants (shams), and compared male categories with respect to how they maintained body mass during the mating season. Somewhat unexpectedly, bibbed males consistently lost more body weight across all treatments and controls, although we could not verify that this translated into higher mortality in this short-lived animal (about 80% survive for one year only). However, bibbed males may invest more into "mating success" than nonbibbed males, which agrees with our experimental results and paternity data.

Keywords

  • Evolutionary Biology

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1558-5646
Tobias Uller
E-mail: tobias.uller [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 30 94

E-C256

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

I am currently about to move to Lund from University of Oxford. For details about DPhil students and postdocs in my previous research group based at the Edward Grey Institute, please click here

Downloads & links

CV (pdf; 241 kB)