Sexual Interference and Sexual Defense in the Smooth Newt, Triturus vulgaris (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae)
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
1984 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie
Volume 66, Issue 3, pages 242–254, January-December 1984
How to Cite
Verrell, P. A. (1984), Sexual Interference and Sexual Defense in the Smooth Newt, Triturus vulgaris (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 66: 242–254. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1984.tb01367.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
- Received: July 12, 1983; Accepted: November 23, 1983
Abstract and Summary
- 1When a male smooth newt encounters a ♀ who is already engaged in courtship, he may mimic her behaviour during the spermatophore deposition and transfer stages of the courtship. He thereby usurps the courting ♂ and may inseminate the ♀ himself. Such sexual interference depresses the short-term, and perhaps long-term, mating success of the courting ♂.
- 2In the presence of a potential rival, the courting ♂ alters certain aspects of his sexual behaviour. He displays more intensely to the ♀ and attempts to draw her away from the rival by increasing the duration of his display. He may also “check” that it is the ♀, and not the rival, who will elicit the deposition of a spermatophore from him. These changes in the behaviour of the courting ♂ are interpreted as defense against sexual interference.
- 3Female smooth newts may be multiply inseminated as a consequence of sexual interference; this may result in sperm competition. However, ♀♀ seem to find competitive interactions between ♂ ♂ “aversive”.
- 4Sexual interference by ♀-mimicry and associated defensive behaviour patterns are common in the urodele amphibians. Interference can be thought of as a “side-payment” conditional mating strategy.