Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199, U.S.A.
Rapid and socially induced change of a badge of status
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles
Journal of Fish Biology
Volume 80, Issue 3, pages 722–727, March 2012
How to Cite
Rhodes, S. B. and Schlupp, I. (2012), Rapid and socially induced change of a badge of status. Journal of Fish Biology, 80: 722–727. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03212.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
- (Received 7 July 2011, Accepted 6 December 2011)
- colour change;
- sexual selection;
This paper reports a new aspect of male signalling in the green swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii. Males are highly ornamented and possess a sword (an extension of the caudal fin), as well as a lateral stripe that has been shown to be a badge of status. Males of one natural population, however, were found to quickly change the colour of their lateral stripe to red when socially dominant over other males and black when subdominant, thereby exploiting the female preference for red stripes while dominant, and avoiding the costs of male aggression while subdominant.