Males Prefer Small Females in a Dichotomous Choice Test in the Poeciliid Fish Heterandria formosa

TitelMales Prefer Small Females in a Dichotomous Choice Test in the Poeciliid Fish Heterandria formosa
MedientypJournal Article
Jahr der Veröffentlichung2010
AutorenAla-Honkola, O., L. Säilä, and K. Lindström
JournalEthology
Volume116
Seitennummerierung736 - 743
Veröffentlichungsdatum05
Zusammenfassung

Male choice is expected to evolve when females differ in quality, even if male investment in each mating is low. The family Poeciliidae is an example of fishes in which males show little parental investment as they only provide sperm. Up until now, a preference for large females has been found in all species studied. Here we show that unexpectedly, males of the least killifish (Heterandria formosa) prefer to interact with small instead of large females in a dichotomous male choice test, even though large females are more fecund. During a free-swimming choice experiment, males did not discriminate between females based on their size. We suggest that this unique preference for small females, or the lack of preference for large females, results from strong first male sperm precedence in this species. Smaller females are younger and therefore more likely to be virgin, which probably makes them more profitable mates for males. When presented with a virgin and a mated female of similar size, males showed no preference for either type. This suggests that males do not use pheromone cues to assess female mating status but that they are likely to use female size as a proxy for it.

Males Prefer Small Females in a Dichotomous Choice Test in the Poeciliid Fish Heterandria formosa (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229910498_Males_Prefer_Small_Fe... [accessed Sep 26, 2017].




Wissenschaft ist der Glaube an die Unwissenheit der Experten. {Richard Feynman}