Mutual Mate Choice in the Deep Snouted Pipefish Syngnathus typhle

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Zooekologi

Sammanfattning: This thesis integrates the fields of sexual selection, parental investment and sex role theory by investigating mutual mate choice and mate competition in the sex role reversed deep snouted pipefish Syngnathus typhle (Pisces: Syngnathidae) through a series of laboratory experiments. In S. typhle, the female transfers her eggs to the male's brood pouch where they are nourished and oxygenated for about a month, when the male gives birth to the independent fry.Mate choice was found to be adaptive. Both sexes benefited from mating with preferred partners in terms of increased offspring viability and got larger, or faster growing, offspring when mating with large fish. Females were also shown to prefer males with thicker brood pouches. Thus, females, the more competitive sex, had multiple preferences. Both male and female choice behaviour was found to be flexible and influenced by available information on partner quality. In addition, males, but not females, copied the mate choice of consexuals. Both sexes were found to take their own quality in relation to surrounding competitors into account when deciding whether to display to potential partners. Male-male competition was found to influence both the mate choice of males and, potentially, overrule the mate choice of females. Males did not compete as intensely as females, nor did they use their sexual ornament in this context as females do. Rather, the ornament was used in interactions with females, and males that displayed more received more eggs.The findings in this thesis emphasise the importance of not viewing mate choice and competition as opposite behaviours, but rather to apply a dynamic approach in mate choice studies, integrating choice and competition in both sex