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Brain size affects responsiveness in mating behaviour to variation in predation pressure and sex ratio
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University College of London, UK.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Wageningen University, The Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3473-1402
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
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Number of Authors: 52020 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 165-177Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite ongoing advances in sexual selection theory, the evolution of mating decisions remains enigmatic. Cognitive processes often require simultaneous processing of multiple sources of information from environmental and social cues. However, little experimental data exist on how cognitive ability affects such fitness-associated aspects of behaviour. Using advanced tracking techniques, we studied mating behaviours of guppies artificially selected for divergence in relative brain size, with known differences in cognitive ability, when predation threat and sex ratio was varied. In females, we found a general increase in copulation behaviour in when the sex ratio was female biased, but only large-brained females responded with greater willingness to copulate under a low predation threat. In males, we found that small-brained individuals courted more intensively and displayed more aggressive behaviours than large-brained individuals. However, there were no differences in female response to males with different brain size. These results provide further evidence of a role for female brain size in optimal decision-making in a mating context. In addition, our results indicate that brain size may affect mating display skill in male guppies. We suggest that it is important to consider the association between brain size, cognitive ability and sexual behaviour when studying how morphological and behavioural traits evolve in wild populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 33, no 2, p. 165-177
Keywords [en]
decision-making, guppies, OSR, Poecilia reticulata, sexual behaviour, sexual selection, skill
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176552DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13556ISI: 000494850100001PubMedID: 31610058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176552DiVA, id: diva2:1379762
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Corral-López, AlbertoRomensky, MaksymKotrschal, AlexanderBuechel, Severine D.Kolm, Niclas
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