Sexual Selection in the Three-Spined Stickleback

I. Normative Observations



The purpose of this study was to seek evidence for the influence of sexual selection on both male and female three-spined sticklebacks, a species in which the ♂ alone has parental responsibilities. We studied the intrasexual relationships of ♂♂ and ♀♀ prior to courtship, and the intrasexual and intersexual relationships of both sexes during courtship. Results demonstrated that both ♂♂ and ♀♀ compete intrasexually, and suggested that both sexes are discriminative in mate selection. These results are compatible with Trivers' (1972) model of the role of parental investment in sexual selection.