Courtship signalling with a labile bilateral signal: males show their best side
2009 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 63, no 12, 1717-1725 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Asymmetries in courtship signals can result from both developmental instability during ontogeny and from temporary or permanent damage following mating, fighting, or interactions with predators. These two types of asymmetries, which can be divided into fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and damage asymmetry (DA), have both been suggested to play an important role in mate choice as potential honest indicators of phenotypic and/or genetic quality, while at the same time, DA may affect ornament asymmetry in a random manner. Interestingly, despite the massive research effort that has been devoted to the study of asymmetry during the past decades, very little is known about how an individual's behaviour relates to asymmetry. Here, we measure and characterise asymmetry in morphological courtship signals in Corynopoma riisei, a fish where males carry elaborate paddle-like appendices on each side of the body that they display in front of females during courtship. Moreover, we investigate whether male courtship display, employing this bilateral morphological trait, reflects trait asymmetry. Finally, we assess whether males respond to phenotypic manipulations of DA with corresponding changes in courtship behaviour. We show that male display behaviour is asymmetric in a manner that reflects asymmetry of their morphological courtship trait and that male display behaviour responds to manipulations of asymmetry of these paddles. Our results thus suggest that males preferentially use their best side and, hence, that males respond adaptively to temporary changes in signal trait asymmetry.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 63, no 12, 1717-1725 p.
Sexual signalling, Sexual selection, Lateralization, Mate choice, Sensory bias, Indicator, Self-awareness
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116451DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0785-7ISI: 000270684200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116451DiVA: diva2:806553