Female Sexual Interference in the Smooth Newt, Triturus vulgaris vulgaris
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
1996 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Volume 102, Issue 5, pages 736–747, January-December 1996
How to Cite
Waights, V. (1996), Female Sexual Interference in the Smooth Newt, Triturus vulgaris vulgaris. Ethology, 102: 736–747. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1996.tb01163.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
- Received: November 28, 1995; Accepted: March 5, 1996 (K. Lessells)
Competition between unmated females for males was observed in the smooth newt, T. vulgaris, during the early part of the breeding season. Females interfered at the spermatophore-transfer stage of courtship, preventing a rival female from picking up the sperm mass. Interference often resulted in the rival female abandoning the courtship encounter. In many of the encounters (70%), the interfering female was inseminated. However, interference between females was not observed after the commencement of ovulation.
By contrast, the incidence of sexual interference between males was low during the preovulatory period and increased significantly post-ovulation.
Sexual interference in newts and salamanders has previously only been observed between males. During the greater part of the breeding season, when females are ovipositing, eggs are the limiting resource and males compete for access to receptive females. However, this study suggests that early in the breeding season, prior to commencement of ovulation, the limiting resource may temporarily be sperm, due to the physiological constraint of spermatophore production. This may lead to female competition for mates.