Do Male Activity Level And Territory Quality Affect Female Association Time in The Brown Anole, Anolis sagrei?

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Abstract

Female mate preference is an important component of sexual selection because some male traits, such as physiology and proficiency in acquiring resources, are indicators of male quality. In lizards, the importance of female choice remains unclear as results reported from previous experiments are contradictory. Here, we investigated the influence of male activity level, its associated physiology, and territory quality on female preference, estimated as association time, for male brown anoles, Anolis sagrei. Male A. sagrei were first rated for endurance then used in mismatched-pair female association trials. Preference was scored as the time a female spent near a male relative to the amount of time she was in his half of the trial arena, and both male and female behaviors were recorded. Levels of blood glucose were measured in males before and after the endurance tests, and before and after the association trials. Levels of stored glycogen were measured in leg muscle and liver samples collected from males after an association trial. A path analysis indicates that final blood glucose levels affect male activity and that female preference is influenced by male activity. In a second experiment, females were given a choice between a male in a territory supplemented with plants and a size-matched male in a bare territory. Male activity levels were recorded when both males interacted with the female. In those cases, females spent more time with the more active of the two males, regardless of territory quality. Combined, these results suggest that female A. sagrei exhibit preference for male activity regardless of territory quality.

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