Sexual selection, parasites and bower height skew in a bower-building cichlid fish

Taylor, Martin I. ORCID:, Turner, George F., Robinson, Rosanna L. and Stauffer Jr, Jay R. (1998) Sexual selection, parasites and bower height skew in a bower-building cichlid fish. Animal Behaviour, 56 (2). pp. 379-384. ISSN 0003-3472

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The good genes mechanism of sexual selection predicts that secondary sexual ornaments may reliably reveal a male's resistance to parasites. We studied correlates of courtship and spawning success in a species of Copadichromis, a lekking cichlid fish from Lake Malawi, Africa, which builds sand bowers. We present the first evidence of a negative relationship between the structure of an extended phenotypic character (height skew of sand bowers) and male parasite load. Males that spawned had significantly fewer dilepipid cestodes in their livers than males that did not spawn, never before demonstrated in a lekking species of fish. Furthermore, males that spawned had significantly heavier gonads than unsuccessful males. We also found significant correlations between relative liver weight and some measures of reproductive success. This may indicate females are choosing to mate with males in better condition.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 13:28
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 01:07
DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1998.0795

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