Condition dependence of sexual attractiveness in the bank vole
The capture of genetic variation by sexual traits due to their condition dependence is hypothesized to underlie the genetic benefits of mate choice. Here, we investigate condition dependence of sexual attractiveness of bank vole Myodes glareolus males by manipulating their diet during the period of maturation. We find that reducing diet quality negatively affected both male mating success and development of preputial glands used in sexual signaling. Preputial glands showed stronger condition dependence than other organs measured (testes, heart, intestines). In contrast to mating success, male dominance was not significantly affected by diet manipulation and was not correlated with male mating success. Thus, our results support condition dependence of sexual attractiveness but not of intrasexual competitiveness.
KeywordsGood genes Mate choice Rodent Dominance Sexual selection
We would like to thank Pawel Koteja for his advice and support and Joe Tomkins and anonymous referees for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. This work was supported from a grant 447/P04/2004/27 from the Ministry of Science.
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