Journal of Ethology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 389–392 | Cite as

Role of body size in dominance interactions between male water striders, Aquarius paludum

  • Chang S. Han
  • Piotr G. Jablonski
Short Communication


Water striders are a model system for the study of sexual size dimorphism, but the effect of body size on the dominance relationship between individuals has not been experimentally tested. In 34 staged contests between males of the water strider Aquarius paludum, we determined the effect of body size difference between contestants on the outcome of the aggressive interactions. In contests between a large and a small male, the larger individuals won the interactions significantly more often than expected by chance. This is the first experimental evidence for the importance of body size in pair-wise contests among water striders.


Male–male competition Sexual size dimorphism Aquarius paludum Gerridae 



This work was funded by a grant (3344-20080067) from the College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University to P.J. and for the equipment purchased for the KRF project no. 0409-20080118, by Korea Research Foundation Grant No. KRF-2007-412-J03001, and from the funds of the second stage of the Brain Korea 21 Project 2009. C.S.H. thanks Chang-ku Kang for helping collect water striders. We thank the members of the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at SNU for help and support (Sang-im Lee, Byoung-soon Jang, Hong-sup Shin, Won-young Lee, Chang-ku Kang and Hee-yoon Kim). This project was conducted as part of an Animal Behavior class taught by P.G.J. at the School of Biological Sciences SNU.

Supplementary material

Video S1. A video showing two interacting individuals next to each other when the “standing up” posture is used. Video by P. G. Jablonski (wmv 949 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution, School of Biological SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Institute of EcologyPolish Academy of SciencesLomiankiPoland

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