Male mate choice in the annual fish Austrolebias reicherti (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae): when size matters

Abstract

While the importance of male mate choice is increasingly recognized, it continues to be an understudied aspect of sexual selection. Here, the effect of female body size on male mate choice was evaluated in the annual killifish Austrolebias reicherti, a species with marked sexual dimorphism in which males are more conspicuous than females. In dual-choice mate choice trials with unequal sized females we found that males spent significantly more time with larger females. Furthermore, larger females spawned more and larger eggs when spawning was allowed in non-choice trials. Therefore, male selection is probably attributable to the higher reproductive success of larger females. To our knowledge, this is the first study that provides evidence of both male mate choice in annual fishes and its possible fitness advantages. The implications of male mate choice for sexual selection in these fish highlight the need for further studies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Amundsen T (2018) Sex roles and sexual selection: lessons from a dynamic model system. Curr Zool 64:363–392

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Andersson M (1994) Sexual selection. Princeton University Press, New Jersey

    Google Scholar 

  3. Basolo AL (2004) Variation between and within the sexes in body size preferences. Anim Behav 68:75–82

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bateman AJ (1948) Intra-sexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity 2:349–368

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Bergstrom CT, Real LA (2000) Towards a theory of mutual mate choice: lessons from two-sided matching. Evol Ecol Res 2:493–508

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bonduriansky R (2001) The evolution of male mate choice in insects: a synthesis of ideas and evidence. Biol Rev 76:305–339

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Callander S, Backwell PRY, Jennions MD (2012) Context dependent male mate choice: the effects of competitor presence and competitor size. Behav Ecol 23:355–360

    Google Scholar 

  8. Candolin U, Salesto T (2009) Does competition allow male mate choosiness in three-spine sticklebacks? Am Nat 173:273–277

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Charnov EL (1993) Life history invariants. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  10. Clutton-Brock T (2007) Sexual selection in males and females. Science 318:1882–1885

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Dosen LD, Montgomerie R (2004) Female size influences mate preferences of male guppies. Ethology 110:245–255

    Google Scholar 

  12. Edward DA, Chapman T (2011) The evolution and significance of male mate choice. Trends Ecol Evol 26:647–654

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Einum S, Fleming IA (1999) Maternal effects of egg size in brown trout (Salmo trutta): norms of reaction to environmental quality. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 266:2095–2100

    Google Scholar 

  14. Einum S, Hendry AP, Fleming IA (2002) Egg-size evolution in aquatic environments: does oxygen availability constrain size? Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 269:2325–2330

    Google Scholar 

  15. Emlen ST, Oring LW (1977) Ecology, sexual selection, and evolution of mating systems. Science 197:215–223

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Fitzpatrick CL, Servedio MR (2018) The evolution of male mate choice and female ornamentation: a review of mathematical models. Curr Zool 64:323–333

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. García D, Loureiro M, Tassino B (2008) Reproductive behavior in the annual fish Austrolebias reicherti Loureiro and García 2004 (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae). Neotrop Ichthyol 6:243–248

    Google Scholar 

  18. Gonçalves C, Souza UP, Volcan MV (2011) The opportunistic feeding and reproduction strategies of the annual fish Cynopoecilus melanotaenia (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) inhabiting ephemeral habitats in southern Brazil. Neotrop Ichthyol 9:191–200

    Google Scholar 

  19. Helfman G, Collette BB, Facey DE, Bowen BW (2009) The diversity of fishes: biology, evolution, and ecology, 2nd edn. Wiley, London

    Google Scholar 

  20. Herdman EJE, Kelly CD, Godin JGJ (2004) Male mate choice in the guppy Poecilia reticulata: do males prefer larger females as mates? Ethology 110:97–111

    Google Scholar 

  21. Houde AE (2001) Sex roles, ornaments, and evolutionary explanation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:12857–12859

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Jennions MD, Petrie M (1997) Variation in mate choice and mating preferences: a review of causes and consequences. Biol Rev 72:283–327

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Judge KA, Brooks RJ (2001) Chorus participation by male bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana: a test of the energetic constraints hypothesis. Anim Behav 62:849–861

    Google Scholar 

  24. Kingston J, Rosenthal GG, Ryan MJ (2003) The role of sexual selection in maintaining a colour polymorphism in the pygmy swordtail Xiphophorus pygmaeus. Anim Behav 65:735–743

    Google Scholar 

  25. Kokko H, Johnstone RA (2002) Why is mutual mate choice not the norm? Operational sex ratios, sex roles and the evolution of sexually dimorphic and monomorphic signalling. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 357:319–330

    Google Scholar 

  26. Kokko H, Monaghan P (2001) Predicting the direction of sexual selection. Ecol Lett 4:159–165

    Google Scholar 

  27. Kotiaho JS (2001) Costs of sexual traits: a mismatch between theoretical considerations and empirical evidence. Biol Rev 76:365–376

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Kraak SBM, Bakker TCM (1998) Mutual mate choice in sticklebacks: attractive males choose big females, which lay big eggs. Anim Behav 56:859–866

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Loureiro M, García G (2008) Austrolebias reicherti Loureiro and García, a valid species of annual fish (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from Uruguay. Zootaxa 1940:1–15

    Google Scholar 

  30. Papa N, Clivio GA, Montagne J (2016) Husbandry, reproduction, and embryo culture of annual fishes under laboratory conditions. In: Berois N, García G, De Sá RO (eds) Annual fishes. Life history strategy, diversity and evolution. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 99–107

    Google Scholar 

  31. Passos C, Tassino B, Loureiro M, Rosenthal GG (2013) Intra- and intersexual selection on male body size in the annual killifish Austrolebias charrua. Behav Process 96:20–26

    Google Scholar 

  32. Passos C, Tassino B, Reyes F, Rosenthal GG (2014) Seasonal variation in female mate choice and operational sex ratio in wild populations of an annual fish, Austrolebias reicherti. PLoS One 9:2. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101649

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Passos C, Tassino B, Rosenthal GG, Reichard M (2016) Reproductive behavior and sexual selection in annual fishes. In: Berois N, García G, De Sá RO (eds) Annual fishes. Life history strategy, diversity and evolution. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 207–229

    Google Scholar 

  34. Pélabon C, Borg ÅA, Bjelvenmark J, Forsgren E, Barber I, Amundsen T (2003) Do male two-spotted gobies prefer large fecund females? Behav Ecol 14:787–792

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rosenthal GG, Evans CS (1998) Female preference for swords in Xiphophorus helleri reflects a bias for large apparent size. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:4431–4436

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Schalk CM, Montaña CG, Libson ME (2014) Reproductive strategies of two Neotropical killifish, Austrolebias vandenbergi and Neofundulus ornatipinnis (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) in the Bolivian Gran Chaco. Rev Biol Trop 62:109–117

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Schlupp I (2018) Male mate choice in livebearing fishes: an overview. Curr Zool 64:393–403

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  38. Trivers R (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In: Campbell B (ed) Sexual selection and the descent of man. Aldine, Chicago, pp 139–179

    Google Scholar 

  39. Tudor MS, Morris MR (2009) Variation in male mate preference for female size in the swordtail Xiphophorus malinche. Behaviour 146:727–740

    Google Scholar 

  40. Vrtílek M, Reichard M (2016) Female fecundity traits in wild populations of African annual fish: the role of the aridity gradient. Ecol Evol 6:5921–5931

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  41. Wallace JC, Aasjord D (1984) An investigation of the consequences of egg size for the culture of Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.). J Fish Biol 24:427–435

    Google Scholar 

  42. Walling CA, Royle NJ, Lindström J, Metcalfe NB (2010) Do female association preferences predict the likelihood of reproduction? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 64:541–548

    Google Scholar 

  43. Werner NY, Lotem A (2006) Experimental evidence for male sequential mate preference in a lekking species. Ethology 112:657–663

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank F. Reyes and A. Olivera for assistance in field fish collection, two reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript, and M. García and Z. Hancock for improving the English. The work was funded by PEDECIBA (Programa para el Desarrollo de las Ciencias Básicas, Uruguay). CP, NV and AD were supported by the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI-ANII, Uruguay).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carlos Passos.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

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.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Passos, C., Vidal, N. & D’Anatro, A. Male mate choice in the annual fish Austrolebias reicherti (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae): when size matters. J Ethol 37, 301–306 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-019-00601-w

Download citation

Keywords

  • Annual killifish
  • Body size
  • Fecundity
  • Male choice
  • Operational sex ratio
  • Sexual selection