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Debates: Challenging a Recent Challenge to the Aggressive Spillover Hypothesis

Authors

  • James Chadwick Johnson

    Corresponding author
    • Division of Mathematical & Natural Sciences, Arizona State University at the West Campus, Glendale, AZ, USA
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  • (Invited Review)

Correspondence

James Chadwick Johnson, Division of Mathematical & Natural Sciences, Arizona State University at the West Campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird, Glendale, AZ, USA.

E-mail: jchadwick@asu.edu

Abstract

Kralj-Fiser et al. recently reviewed the lack of evidence in favor of the aggressive spillover hypothesis, an animal personality/behavioral syndrome explanation for pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism. In doing so, they evaluated past tests of the hypothesis, set forth their ideas for criteria that need to be met to accept the spillover hypothesis, and conclude that the hypothesis is not generally supported. Here, I comment on several aspects of their position. In doing so, I identify areas in which we differ and point out several strengths of past tests of the spillover hypothesis. In particular, I suggest that researchers testing the spillover hypothesis have done an excellent job of studying sexual cannibalism in the broader context of a movement within behavioral ecology to understand where an animal's behavior falls along a continuum of plasticity.

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