Meeting Abstract

37.2  Thursday, Jan. 5  The lizard’s tail: size matters! Determinants of mating success in the common lizard. HUYGHE, K.*; SAN-JOSE, L.M.; PEñALVER ALCáZAR, M.; FITZE, P.S.; University of Antwerp, Belgium; CSIC-MNCN, Spain; CSIC-MNCN, Spain; UNIL, Switzerland katleen.huyghe@ua.ac.be

Sexual selection has been demonstrated to mould traits that help to increase the probability of a successful outcome of a male’s reproductive strategy. Previous work has suggested a primary role for body size, the main feature that determines the outcome of territorial conflicts between males and/or the result of female mate choice. However, recent studies focusing on performance traits suggest that these may be as, or even more, important in determining male mating success. Here we tested this hypothesis and determined the traits predicting mating success in males of a colour polymorphic population of the common lizard, Lacerta vivipara. Size-matched males of three morphs were staged together with one female, and the importance of a series of traits (morphology, colour, sprint speed and bite force capacity, and mating behavior) was investigated. Contrary to what we expected from the theoretical rock-paper-scissors models, neither colour nor performance affected mating success. Tail length on the other hand was a male’s most important key to success.