Itzkowitz, M. I.; Haley, Michael P.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Centre for Marine Sciences
Are males with more attractive resources more selective in their mate preferences
Date of Publication
In many polygynous species, males typically direct more intense courtship toward more fecund females. Here we examined this behaviour in relation to the attractiveness of a male's resource. We used the territorial polygynous beaugregory damselfish (Stegastes leucostictus) and manipulated the quality of male breeding territories with two types of artificial sites. We also investigated variable natural breeding territories. Previous studies have shown that these different breeding sites were of different qualities, as judged by the number of eggs accrued by the defending male. Males on all three types of breeding sites did court females, and males using the highest quality sites exhibited significantly higher courtship intensity. However, only the group of males on the highest quality site-type modulated their courtship intensity to female quality (i.e., female size). This indicates that males required some minimal level of resource attractiveness (i.e., a threshold) before they exhibited mate preferences based on female quality. Further differences in the resource attractiveness for males defending the high-quality artificial sites were not related to differences in courtship behavior.....