Female mate choice in the non-territorial lizard Ameiva plei (Teiidae)
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Mate choice by females has been documented in a variety of taxa. Female mate choice in species lacking male resource control or paternal care might occur if preferred males provide protection from harassment. Female mate choice was investigated in a natural population of the non-territorial lizard Ameiva plei (Teiidae). Consort pairs were allowed to form naturally. Consort males were significantly larger than non-consort males. After removal of consort males, the “abandoned” female's reaction to the first male who approached her was recorded. Females rejected all small males. Female preference for large males was significantly higher than preference for small males. Large males may be better equipped to guard the females from harassment and behavior of large males is less harassing than behavior of small males, thereby affording the female increased foraging time.
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