IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Size-related inbreeding preference and competitiveness in male Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae)

Listed author(s):
  • Timo Thünken
  • Sebastian A. Baldauf
  • Harald Kullmann
  • Julia Schuld
  • Saskia Hesse
  • Theo C.M. Bakker
Registered author(s):

    Sexual selection is an important force in the evolution of body size. Both intersexual selection, that is, preference for large individuals, and intrasexual selection, that is, increased competitiveness of large individuals, are involved in this process. Furthermore, preferences based on body size of the choosing individual might also influence body size evolution. Here, we investigated male mate choice and competitiveness in relation to male body size in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a size-dimorphic cichlid. In previous experiments, both sexes showed mating preferences for larger and genetically related individuals. First, we examined male inbreeding preferences based on olfactory cues. Males that highly varied in body size were given the choice between the odor of a familiar sister and the odor of an unfamiliar unrelated female that were presented in combination with a computer-animated image of a female P. taeniatus as a visual stimulus. Male preference for the odor of their sisters was correlated with male body size. Only larger males were choosy concerning related odors and preferred their sisters, whereas smaller males were unselective. Second, we showed that large males outcompete smaller males in contest over a breeding site. The extent of aggression was negatively correlated with the size difference between the 2 males. Variation in male choice may reflect an adaptive strategy: small, less competitive and less attractive males might avoid the risk of failing to mate at all by reducing choosiness. Consequently, only large competitive males should obtain the benefits of choice, which may further contribute to the selective advantages of large body size. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 358-362

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:2:p:358-362
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK

    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:2:p:358-362. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.