Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Malarial parasitism and male competition for mates in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis

Summary

The effect of malarial parasitism on the ability of male western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to compete for access to females was assessed experimentally. Pairs of male lizards, one infected with the malarial parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and the other not infected, were matched by size and color and placed in large seminatural outdoor enclosures along with an adult female lizard. Infected males displayed to females and to other males less often than did noninfected male lizards. Noninfected lizards were dominant in social interactions more often than malarious animals, based on duration and intensity of agonistic encounters toward the other male, and time spent with the female. Thus, malarial infection hinders the ability of male fence lizards to compete for mates.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Ayala SC (1971) Sporogony and experimental transmission of Plasmodium mexicanum. J Parasitol 57:598–602

  2. Bateson P (1983) Mate Choice. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge

  3. Baudoin M (1975) Host castration as a parasitic strategy. Evolution 29:335–352

  4. Blum MS, Blum NA (1979) Sexual Selection and Reproductive Competition in Insects. Academic Press, New York

  5. Bromwich CR, Schall JJ (1986) Infection dynamics of Plasmodium mexicanum a malarial parasite of lizards. Ecology 67:1227–1235

  6. Freeland WJ (1976) Pathogens and the evolution of primate sociality. Biotropica 8:12–24

  7. Freeland WJ (1981) Parasitism and behavioral dominance among male mice. Science 213:461–462

  8. Halliday RR (1983) The study of mate choice. In: Bateson P (ed) Mate Choice, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, pp 3–32

  9. Hamilton WD, Zuk M (1982) Heritable true fitness and bright colors: A role for parasites? Science 218:384–387

  10. Hausfater G, Watson DF (1976) Social and reproductive correlates of parasite ova emissions by baboons. Nature 262:688–689

  11. Hicks R, Trivers R (1983) the social behavior, of Anolis valencienni. In: Rhodin A, Miyata K (eds) Advances in Herpetology and Evolutionary Biology. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, MA, pp 570–595

  12. Kuris AM (1974) Trophic interactions: similarity of parasitic castrators to parasitoids. Q Rev Biology 49:129–148

  13. Rau ME (1983) Establishment and maintenance of behavioural dominance in male mice infected with Trichinella spiralis. Parasitology 86:319–322

  14. Ressel SJ (1986) Sexual color dimorphisms, sexual selection, and malarial parsitism in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis. MS thesis, University of Vermont, Burlington

  15. Schall JJ (1983) Lizard malaria: parasite-host ecology. In: Huey RB, Pianka ER, Schoener TW (eds), Lizard Ecology; Studies of a Model ORganism. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, pp 84–100

  16. Schall JJ, Sarni GA (1987) Malarial parasitism and the behavior of the lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis. Copeia 1987:84–93

  17. Schall JJ, Bennett AF, Putnam RW (1982) Lizards infected with malaria: physiological and behavioral consequences. Science 217:1057–1059

  18. Telford SR (1984) Haemoparasites of reptiles. Hoff GL, Frye FL, Jacobson ER (eds), Diseases of Amphiblans and Reptiles. Plenum Publ Corp, New York, pp 385–517

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to J. J. Schall.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schall, J.J., Dearing, M.D. Malarial parasitism and male competition for mates in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis . Oecologia 73, 389–392 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00385255

Download citation

Key words

  • Mate competition
  • Parasitism
  • Malaria
  • Lizards
  • Sceloporus