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Alternative life histories in Xiphophorus multilineatus: evidence for different ages at sexual maturity and growth responses in the wild

Authors

  • L. M. Bono,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, U.S.A.
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    • Present address: Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, U.S.A.

  • O. Rios-Cardenas,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Km 2.5 Carretera antigua a Coatepec No. 351, Congregación El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, Mexico
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  • M. R. Morris

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, U.S.A.
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Tel.: +52 228 842 1800 ext. 3014; email: oscar.rios@inecol.edu.mx

Abstract

In order to examine potential trade-offs in alternative life histories of the high-backed pygmy swordtail Xiphophorus multilineatus, otoliths were used from wild-caught males to determine if sneaker males had the advantage of maturing earlier in natural environments. The sneakers matured significantly earlier than courters, but there was no difference among the three courter variants. In addition, analyses suggested that the effect of the pituitary locus on size at sexual maturity and growth rates was a consequence of age at sexual maturity. Finally, one of the courter variants had a significantly different relationship between age and size at sexual maturity than the other variants, suggesting that in this variant, age at sexual maturity may be more closely related to size and therefore may be less plastic in its growth responses.

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