Identifying the processes that lead to the evolution and maintenance of links between colour morphs and behavioural strategies has implications for the evolution of reproductive isolation and sympatric speciation. Sexual selection may play a significant role in the evolution of colour pattern complexity in reptiles, particularly when there are fitness consequences associated with mating with males of different colour morphs. In this article, we explored if common wall lizard females ( Podarcis muralis) actively select males according to their morph in a colour-assortative pattern using a multiple-choice experiment with both visual and chemical cues. We failed to identify female active mate choice, as females did not choose males based on male colouration or femoral pore secretions. Indeed, females equally entered the three preference compartments and spent nearly the same amount of time within them, irrespective of both colour and odour of males. Consequently, our results do not support the hypothesis that colour polymorphism in this species may be driven by colour-assortative mating promoted by females. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that females may choose males according to their colour following a flexible choice strategy, nor the possibility that females actively discriminate among males according to qualities that are not directly related to morph-specific strategies.

Common Wall Lizard Females (Podarcis muralis) do not Actively Choose Males Based on their Colour Morph

SACCHI, ROBERTO;GHITTI, MICHELE;MANGIACOTTI, MARCO;COLADONATO, ALAN JIOELE;PELLITTERI ROSA, DANIELE
2015-01-01

Abstract

Identifying the processes that lead to the evolution and maintenance of links between colour morphs and behavioural strategies has implications for the evolution of reproductive isolation and sympatric speciation. Sexual selection may play a significant role in the evolution of colour pattern complexity in reptiles, particularly when there are fitness consequences associated with mating with males of different colour morphs. In this article, we explored if common wall lizard females ( Podarcis muralis) actively select males according to their morph in a colour-assortative pattern using a multiple-choice experiment with both visual and chemical cues. We failed to identify female active mate choice, as females did not choose males based on male colouration or femoral pore secretions. Indeed, females equally entered the three preference compartments and spent nearly the same amount of time within them, irrespective of both colour and odour of males. Consequently, our results do not support the hypothesis that colour polymorphism in this species may be driven by colour-assortative mating promoted by females. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that females may choose males according to their colour following a flexible choice strategy, nor the possibility that females actively discriminate among males according to qualities that are not directly related to morph-specific strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1104823
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