Someone like me: Size-assortative pairing and mating in an Amazonian fish, sailfin tetra Crenuchus spilurus

Autoři: Elio de Almeida Borghezan aff001;  Kalebe da Silva Pinto aff001;  Jansen Zuanon aff001;  Tiago Henrique da Silva Pires aff001
Působiště autorů: Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Evolução, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Av. André Araújo, Manaus, AM, Brazil aff001;  Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222880


In the absence of constraints, preference for larger mates is expected to evolve, as larger individuals are typical of higher potential fitness. Large females are often more fecund and carry larger eggs (which result in higher number and better quality of offspring), whereas large males usually have more conspicuous ornaments and are better at defending resources. However, intrasexual competition can constrain the access to larger partners, especially when opportunities for mate takeover abound. Here we investigate the relationship between individual’s size and mate choice in relation to one’s own size and their respective mate’s size using the sailfin tetra, a sexually dimorphic Amazonian fish species. We show that ornaments of larger males are exponentially more conspicuous, and larger females are more fecund and carry larger eggs. Contrary to expectation, neither males nor females associated for longer with the larger of two offered potential mates. Instead, individuals of both genders chose opposite-sex individuals of similar sizes to themselves. Additionally, similar-sized pairs were more likely to spawn than couples with higher size asymmetries. Grounded on field observations, we propose that prudent choice should be particularly important in this system, since courtship is long (often taking several days), which offers opportunities for mate takeover. Intrasexual competition, however, cannot readily explain female choice for similar-sized males. We thus suggest that such preference might be best explained by avoidance of filial cannibalism.

Klíčová slova:

Fecundity – Fish – Natural selection – Oocytes – Physiological parameters – Predation – Spawning – Swimming


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