The rock–paper–scissors game and the evolution of alternative male strategies

  title={The rock–paper–scissors game and the evolution of alternative male strategies},
  author={Barry R. Sinervo and Curtis M. Lively},
MANY species exhibit colour polymorphisms associated with alternative male reproductive strategies, including territorial males and 'sneaker males' that behave and look like females1–3. [] Key Result Using parameter estimates from field data, the model predicted oscillations in morph frequency, and the frequencies of the three male morphs were found to oscillate over a six-year period in the field.

Runaway social games, genetic cycles driven by alternative male and female strategies, and the origin of morphs

The dynamics of male and female morphs with one- and two-locus genetic models were modeled and runaway ESS games are discussed in the context of self-reinforcing genetic correlations that build and promote the formation of morphotypic variation.

Frequency-dependent reproductive success in female common lizards: a real-life hawk–dove–bully game?

Results prove that female reproduction is sensitive to the social environment, and are consistent with a scenario of a hawk–dove–bully game, in which yellow females are aggressive hawks, orange females non-aggressive doves, and mixed females have a context-dependent bully strategy.

Morph-specific assortative mating in common wall lizard females

Results showed that crowding experienced by females did not affect mate choice, arguing against a flexible choice strategy by females, and sexual selection could contribute to the maintenance of color polymorphism in this species by a mix of assortative and non-assortative mating strategies.

Permanent female mimics in a lekking shorebird

A rare female-like morph of ruffs is described: the ‘missing’ third alternative mating strategy, which is called ‘faeder’ and appears to combine feminine and masculine behaviours.

Selection on space use in a polymorphic lizard

D divergence of male reproductive strategies in C. pictus does not seem to be related to differences in space use, and selection on space use in a natural population was not disruptive in either of the two years studied.

Frequency-Dependent Selection on Female Morphs Driven by Premating Interactions with Males

It is concluded that considering interactions among all players—here, males and females—is crucial to fully understanding the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of genetic polymorphisms in the wild.

Polyandry and alternative mating tactics

  • B. NeffE. Svensson
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2013
A new model for the evolution of AMTs is suggested that incorporates both environmental and genetic effects, and is suggested to be a source, and possibly also a consequence, of sexual conflict.

Competition and cuckoldry: estimating fitness of alternative reproductive tactics in plainfin midshipman

The results provide the first exploration of the evolution of male ARTs in plainfin midshipman and, given the tractability of midship man system, a valuable next step will be to look for gene-by-environment interactions on tactic development and expression.

An experimental test of frequency-dependent selection on male mating strategy in the field

It is found that the frequency-dependent nature of male fitness could be accounted for by the composition of their competitors at a small local population level, driven by associations within a focal female's social neighbourhood.



Equal mating success among male reproductive strategies in a marine isopod

It is reported that average reproductive success is equivalent among the three male morphs in monthly population samples collected over two years, indicating the absence of differential natural selection among morphs.

Evolution of Alternative Reproductive Strategies: Frequency-Dependent Sexual Selection in Male Bluegill Sunfish

Empirical evidence in a wild population of the bluegill sunfish shows that cuckolder will fertilize decreasing proportions of eggs, relative to parental males, as cuckolders increase in frequency in the population, which supports evolutionary models that assume negative frequency-dependent selection between the competing strategies.

A Genetic Polymorphism in the Swordtail Xiphophorus nigrensis: Testing the Prediction of Equal Fitnesses

The data support the hypothesis that morph fitnesses are equal, the model is fairly robust to changes in population growth rate and differential death rates of morphs, and the confidence intervals are large, which suggests that the null hypothesis only be accepted with caution.

Early Exposure to Androgens Affects Adult Expression of Alternative Male Types in Tree Lizards

Results support the hypothesis that the organizational action of T or one of its metabolites contributes to the differentiation of these within-sex differences in the tree lizard.

Evolution and the Theory of Games

In the Hamadryas baboon, males are substantially larger than females. A troop of baboons is subdivided into a number of ‘one-male groups’, consisting of one adult male and one or more females with

Life History Invariants: Some Explorations of Symmetry in Evolutionary Ecology

The invariants imply deeper symmetries: fitness and life history evolution inheritance and sex allocation relative timing (and body size) variables life history theory for the a.M number allometry philogenetic methods book layout - a short summary.

Allometric Engineering: A Causal Analysis of Natural Selection on Offspring Size

The results experimentally validate premises underlying theories of optimal egg size: fecundity selection favoring the production of large clutches of small eggs was balanced by survival selection favoring large offspring, but large hatchlings did not always have the highest survival, contrary to most theoretical expectations.

Effects of Corticosterone on Activity and Home-Range Size of Free-Ranging Male Lizards

The results suggest that elevated B levels put male lizards at a competitive disadvantage and, therefore, force these lizards to reduce their home-range.


Measures of directional and stabilizing selection on each of a set of phenotypically correlated characters are derived, retrospective, based on observed changes in the multivariate distribution of characters within a generation, not on the evolutionary response to selection.