UV coloration influences spatial dominance but not agonistic behaviors in male wall lizards

Abstract

A bright ultraviolet (UV) component in the coloration of males may signal individual quality and thus determine the outcome of male-male contests. Yet, the role of the UV component of coloration in resolving conflicts is still controversial relative to factors such as residency status and seasonality. Here, we investigated whether a reduction of UV reflectance of lateral blue spots in male wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) interacts with residency status (resident vs. intruder) to influence agonistic behaviors, the outcome of contests, and basking time (a measure of spatial dominance). We performed this experiment during one breeding and one non-breeding season. The UV manipulation did not predict the outcome of contests. During the breeding season, the agonistic behaviors and basking time depended on the residency status of males but not on their UV treatment. During the non-breeding season, experimental factors affected basking time only. For a given male, the time spent basking depended in a complex manner on its residency status, its UV treatment, and those of its rival. UV reflectance of blue spots thus influences the processes of mutual assessment and spatial dominance, but is not a critical determinant of fighting success. Altogether, these results evidence context-dependent effects of the UV reflectance of blue spots on territorial behaviors according to residency status and, potentially, season. They also suggest that UV signaling may be more important than expected for male-male interactions during the non-breeding season.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Alonso-Alvarez C, Doutrelant C, Sorci G (2004) Ultraviolet reflectance affects male-male interactions in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus ultramarinus). Behav Ecol 15:805–809

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Arnott G, Elwood RW (2009) Assessment of fighting ability in animal contests. Anim Behav 77:991–1004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bajer K, Mólnar O, Török J, Herczeg G (2011) Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis). Biol Lett 7:866–868

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Barbault R, Mou YP (1986) A population analysis of the common wall lizard Podarcis muralis in Southwestern France. In: Rocek Z (ed) Studies in herpetology. Charles University Press, Prague, pp 513–518

    Google Scholar 

  5. Blumstein DT, Daniel JC (2007) Quantifying behavior the Jwatcher way. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bohórquez-Alonso M, Molina-Borja M (2014) Reflectance of sexually dichromatic UV-blue patches varies during the breeding season and between two subspecies of Gallotia galloti (Squamata:Lacertidae). Biol J Linn Soc 113:556–569

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bowmaker JK (2008) Evolution of vertebrate visual pigments. Vision Res 48:2022–2041

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Cabido C, Galan P, Lopez P, Martin J (2009) Conspicuousness-dependent antipredatory behavior may counteract coloration differences in Iberian rock lizards. Behav Ecol 20:362–370

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Calsbeek B, Hasselquist D, Clobert J (2010) Multivariate phenotypes and the potential for alternative phenotypic optima in wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) ventral colour morphs. J Evol Biol 23:1138–1147

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. de Fraipont M, Clobert J, John-Alder HB (2000) Increased pre-natal maternal corticosterone promotes philopatry of offspring in common lizards Lacerta vivipara. J Anim Ecol 69:404–413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Dingemanse NJ, Kazem AJN, Réale D, Wright J (2010) Behavioural reaction norms: animal personality meets individual plasticity. Trends Ecol Evol 25:81–89

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Edsman L (1990) Territoriality and competition in wall lizards. PhD thesis, University of Stockholm

  13. Galeotti P, Pellitteri-Rosa D, Sacchi R, Gentilli A, Pupin F, Rubolini D, Fasola M (2010) Sex-, morph- and size-specific susceptibility to stress measured by haematological variables in captive common wall lizard Podarcis muralis. Comp Biochem Physiol A 157:354–63

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gomez D (2006) AVICOL, a program to analyse spectrometric data. Last update October 2011, http://sites.google.com/site/avicolprogram/

  15. Hardy ICW (1998) Butterfly battles: on conventional contests and hot property. Trends Ecol Evol 13:385–386

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Hurd PL (1997) Is signalling of fighting ability costlier for weaker individuals? J Theor Biol 184:83–88

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Jackson DA (1993) Stopping rules in principal components analysis—a comparison of heuristic and statistical approaches. Ecology 74:2204–2214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Johnstone RA, Norris K (1993) Badges of status and the cost of aggression. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 32:127–134

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Keyser AJ, Hill GE (2000) Structurally based plumage coloration is an honest signal of quality in male blue grosbeaks. Behav Ecol 11:202–209

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kokko H, Lopez-Sepulcre A, Morrell LJ (2006) From hawks and doves to self-consistent games of territorial behavior. Am Nat 167:901–912

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Le Galliard JF, Ferrière R (2008) Evolution of maximal endurance capacity: natural and sexual selection across age classes in a lizard. Evol Ecol Res 10:157–176

    Google Scholar 

  22. López P, Amo L, Martín J (2006) Reliable signaling by chemical cues of male traits and health state in male lizards, Lacerta monticola. J Chem Ecol 32:473–488

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. López P, Martín J (2001a) Fighting rules and rival recognition reduce costs of aggression in male lizards, Podarcis hispanica. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 49:111–116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. López P, Martín J (2001b) Pheromonal recognition of females takes precedence over the chromatic cue in male Iberian wall lizards Podarcis hispanica. Ethology 107:901–912

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. López P, Martín J, Cuadrado M (2004) The role of lateral blue spots in intrasexual relationships between male Iberian rock-lizards, Lacerta monticola. Ethology 110:543–561

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Martin M, Le Galliard JF, Meylan S, Loew ER (2015) The importance of ultraviolet and near-infrared sensitivity for visual discrimination in two species of lacertid lizards. J Exp Biol 218:458–465

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Martin M, Meylan S, Gomez D, Le Galliard JF (2013) Ultraviolet and carotenoid-based colouration in the viviparous lizard Zootoca vivipara (Squamata: Lacertidae) in relation to age, sex, and morphology. Biol J Linn Soc 110:128–141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Maynard Smith J, Harper DGC (2003) Animal signals. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  29. Maynard Smith J, Parker GA (1976) Logic of asymmetric contests. Anim Behav 24:159–175

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Mou YP (1987) Ecologie comparée de deux populations de lézards des murailles, Podarcis muralis (Laurenti, 1786), en France. PhD thesis, Université Pierre et Marie Curie

  31. Nembrini M, Oppliger A (2003) Characterization of microsatellite loci in the wall lizard Podarcis muralis (Sauria:Lacertidae). Mol Ecol Notes 3:123–124

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Olsson M (1992) Contest success in relation to size and residency in male sand lizards, Lacerta agilis. Anim Behav 44:386–388

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Olsson M, Andersson S, Wapstra E (2011) UV-deprived coloration reduces success in mate acquisition in male sand lizards (Lacerta agilis). PLoS ONE 6, e19360

    PubMed Central  CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Olsson M, Stuart-Fox D, Ballen C (2013) Genetics and evolution of colour patterns in reptiles. Semin Cell Dev Biol 24:529–541

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Pellitteri-Rosa D, Martín J, López P, Bellati A, Sacchi R, Fasola M, Galeotti P (2014) Chemical polymorphism in male femoral gland secretions matches polymorphic coloration in common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis). Chemoecology 24:67–78

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Pérez i de Lanuza G, Carazo P, Font E (2014) Colours of quality: structural (but not pigment) coloration informs about male quality in a polychromatic lizard. Anim Behav 90:73–81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Pérez i de Lanuza G, Font E (2014) Ultraviolet vision in lacertid lizards: evidence from retinal structure, eye transmittance, SWS1 visual pigment genes and behaviour. J Exp Biol 217:2899–909

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Pryke SR, Griffith SC (2006) Red dominates black: agonistic signalling among head morphs in the colour polymorphic Gouldian finch. Proc R Soc Lond B 273:949–957

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. R Development Core Team (2011) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, http://cran.r-project.org/

  40. Rémy A, Grégoire A, Perret P, Doutrelant C (2010) Mediating male-male interactions: the role of the UV blue crest coloration in blue tits. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 64:1839–1847

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Rick IP, Bakker TCM (2008) Males do not see only red: UV wavelengths and male territorial aggression in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Naturwissenschaften 95:631–638

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Rohwer S (1975) Social significance of avian winter plumage variability. Evolution 29:593–610

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Rohwer S (1977) Status signaling in Harris sparrows: some experiments in deception. Behaviour 61:107–129

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Sacchi R, Pellitteri-Rosa D, Bellati A, Di Paoli A, Ghitti M, Scali S, Galeotti P, Fasola M (2013) Colour variation in the polymorphic common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis): an analysis using the RGB colour system. Zool Anz 252:431–439

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Sacchi R, Pupin F, Gentilli A, Rubolini D, Scali S, Fasola M, Galeotti P (2009) Male-male combats in a polymorphic lizard: residency and size, but not color, affect fighting rules and contest outcome. Aggressive Behav 35:274–283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Sacchi R, Scali S, Pupin F, Gentilli A, Galeotti P, Fasola M (2007) Microgeographic variation of colour morph frequency and biometry of common wall lizards. J Zool 273:389–396

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Searcy W, Nowicki S (2005) The evolution of animal communication. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  48. Secondi J, Lepetz V, Théry M (2012) Male attractiveness is influenced by UV wavelengths in a new species but not in its close relative. PLoS ONE 7, e30391

    PubMed Central  CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Siebeck UE (2004) Communication in coral reef fish: the role of ultraviolet colour patterns in damselfish territorial behaviour. Anim Behav 68:273–282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Stapley J, Whiting MJ (2006) Ultraviolet signals fighting ability in a lizard. Biol Lett 2:169–172

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  51. Stutt AD, Willmer P (1998) Territorial defence in speckled wood butterflies: do the hottest males always win? Anim Behav 55:1341–1347

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  52. Vedder O, Schut E, Magrath MJL, Komdeur J (2010) Ultraviolet crown colouration affects contest outcomes among male blue tits, but only in the absence of prior encounters. Funct Ecol 24:417–425

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Whiting M, Stuartfox D, Oconnor D, Firth D, Bennett N, Blomberg S (2006) Ultraviolet signals ultra-aggression in a lizard. Anim Behav 72:353–363

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Elodie Zrak and Beatriz Decencière Ferrandière for helping in the laboratory and Julia Saravia for providing lizards used during the non-breeding season. We are also grateful to Claire Doutrelant and Alice Rémy who kindly advised us for this manuscript and to Jessica Stapley and Pascal Mège for critical reading of the paper and English checking. This research was supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and an Agence National de la Recherche (ANR) grant (07-JCJC-0120) to JFLG.

Compliance with ethical standards

Authorization No. 2007-189-005 allowed us to capture and manipulate wild animals for this study. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mélissa Martin.

Additional information

Communicated by T. Madsen

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

ESM 1

(DOCX 688 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Martin, M., Meylan, S., Perret, S. et al. UV coloration influences spatial dominance but not agonistic behaviors in male wall lizards. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 69, 1483–1491 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-015-1960-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Intrasexual selection
  • Podarcis muralis
  • Seasonality
  • Structural coloration
  • Territorial conflict