Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 69, Issue 9, pp 1483–1491

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

  • Mélissa Martin
  • Sandrine Meylan
  • Samuel Perret
  • Jean-François Le Galliard
Original Paper

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.

Keywords

Intrasexual selection Podarcis muralis Seasonality Structural coloration Territorial conflict 

Supplementary material

265_2015_1960_MOESM1_ESM.docx (689 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 688 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS UMR 7618, Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de ParisUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  2. 2.ESPE de ParisUniversité Sorbonne Paris IVParisFrance
  3. 3.CNRS UMS 3194, CEREEP-Ecotron Ile-De-France, Ecole Normale SupérieureSaint Pierre les NemoursFrance

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