Male variation in mating success after female numbers are reduced

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Abstract

A significant decline was found in the quantity of eggs that polygynous male beaugregory damselfish Stegastes leucosticus received after reducing the number of available females, which indicated that a significant number of females was removed from the experimental community. The operational sex ratio (OSR) hypothesis, which presumes that a sex becomes increasingly more selective as the number of alternative mates increases, was not supported as the variance in male mating success was unchanged after the females were removed. The relative mating success among males was also unchanged. That is, male ranks remained relatively the same (pre-test and post-test) after the removal of females. The large variance in male mating success within this species may be a function of polymorphic mate preferences exhibited by females that may be based on male location.

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