Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males

  title={Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males},
  author={Manfred Milinski and Theo C. M. Bakker},
AN important problem in evolutionary biology since the time of Darwin has been to understand why females preferentially mate with males handicapped by secondary sexual ornaments1–3. One hypothesis of sexual selection theory is that these ornaments reliably reveal the male's condition4–6, which can be affected for example by parasites4,7–13. Here we show that in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) the intensity of male red breeding coloration positively correlates with physical… 
Do male sticklebacks prefer females with red ornamentation
The results show that red colour on the pelvic sp spine of female sticklebacks has value as a signal to males in this population, and males actually courted females with drab pelvic spines more than females whose pelvic spine had a redder hue, but only when illuminated by white light.
Male Mate Preference for Female Coloration in a Cyprinid Fish, Puntius titteya.
It is suggested that males and females in this species mutually select each other based on red coloration, and males might obtain high quality mates and offspring by choosing females based on carotenoid-based coloration.
Male mate choice selects for female coloration in a fish
  • T. Amundsen, E. Forsgren
  • Biology, Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
Examination of mate-choice experiments with two-spotted gobies provides experimental evidence that males prefer ornamented females in a fish that is not sex-role reversed, supporting the hypothesis that female ornamentation is sexually selected.
Parasitized female guppies do not prefer showy males
This work examines how the monogenean parasite Gyrodactylus turnbulli reduces the sexual display and colour intensity of male guppies, Poecilia reticulata, which makes them less attractive to females and implies that sexual selection pressure for male showiness is diminished.
Male–male competition facilitates female choice in sticklebacks
  • U. Candolin
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1999
The results show that male competition influences signal expression by increasing the difference between males in signalling level, which facilitates female choice and induces a preference for dominant males.
Mutual mate choice in sticklebacks: attractive males choose big females, which lay big eggs
It is proposed that this can explain how brightness can be sexually selected in spite of brighter males not receiving more eggs, and in nature this preference for bigger females results in brighter males receiving on average heavier eggs.
Sexual selection in an anadromous population of threespine sticklebacks — no role for parasites
Although male colour may sometimes affect female choice in this system, this preference has probably not evolved because of the Hamilton—Zuk mechanism of sexual selection.
Male Red Ornamentation Is Associated with Female Red Sensitivity in Sticklebacks
It is shown that the red color expression of fathers correlates well with their daughters' red sensitivity, indicating a proximate mechanism in terms of perceptual sensitivity being involved in the co-evolution of female preferences and male mating signals.
Sexual signaling in the European bitterling: females learn the truth by direct inspection of the resource
It is shown that females of a freshwater fish, the European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus, base their mate choice on multiple traits that differ in their reliability as indicators of expected reproductive success and are used at different stages of the decision process.
Concordant female mate preferences in the cichlid fish Tropheus moorii
The experiment suggests that female choice contributes to the variance in male reproductive success in the tested population of cichlid Tropheus moorii “Chimba”, and female mate preferences were inferred from pairwise interactions.


Genetic difference in female choice between two guppy populations
  • A. Houde
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1988
Sexual selection, natural selection and quality advertisement
Both mating advantage and mortality disadvantage increase with ornament size, and balance at its optimal development, and if a given adornment reduces survival most in low quality phenotypes, the optimum increases with phenotypic quality.
Comparative evidence supports the Hamilton and Zuk hypothesis on parasites and sexual selection
Positive relationships between male brightness and parasite prevalence which remain when the effects of taxonomic, behavioural and ecological variables are removed are demonstrated.
Experimental investigations of the evolutionary significance of sexually dimorphic nuptial colouration in Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.): temporal changes in the structure of the male mosaic signal
Variability in signal intensity between courting males was greatest for the red component of the nuptial signal and both intra- and inter-male variability in the overall intensity of red was greatest during courtship.
  • J. Endler
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1980
Until the authors know more about how and why natural selection occurs, attempts to measure it are quixotic, and discussions of its importance are theandric.
Reassessment of comparative evidence for Hamilton and Zuk theory on the evolution of secondary sexual characters
Using independently derived plumage brightness scores, it is questioned that the prediction that species which are more liable to parasitic infection should possess well-developed secondary sexual characters should be true.
Sexual selection and the role of parasites.
  • A. Read
  • Biology
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1988
Effect of season and sex on the photopic spectral sensitivity of the three-spined stickleback.
There appears to be a small but consistent difference of the order of 10 nm between the shorter wavelength peaks of males and females and during the summer months when reproductive activity is highest, the optomotor threshold for females at the red end of the spectrum is considerably lower than the corresponding threshold value for males.
Aggressiveness in Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus Aculeatus L.): a Behaviour-Genetic Study
This behaviour-genetic study concentrates on intra-specific aggressiveness in the three-spined stickleback, arguing that the lack of response in males to selection for territorial aggressiveness and dominance ability in upward directions is probably due to an upper selection limit for territorial aggression and dominance able, that is already present in the base population.
Effects of Social Stimuli on the Secondary Sex Characters of Male Three-Spined Sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus
The fish of Bear Lake, its fish and fishing, and the distribution of the freshwater clam Pisidium ultramontanum: A paleo-zoogeographical inquiry are reviewed.