The large-male advantage in brown antechinuses: female choice, male dominance, and delayed male death

Fisher, D. O. and Cockburn, A. (2006) The large-male advantage in brown antechinuses: female choice, male dominance, and delayed male death. Behavioral Ecology, 17 2: 164-171. doi:10.1093/beheco/arj012

Author Fisher, D. O.
Cockburn, A.
Title The large-male advantage in brown antechinuses: female choice, male dominance, and delayed male death
Journal name Behavioral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1045-2249
Publication date 2006-03-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/beheco/arj012
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Start page 164
End page 171
Total pages 8
Place of publication Cary
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 270706 Life Histories (incl. Population Ecology)
270707 Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology
Abstract Male-biased dimorphism in body Size is usually attributed to sexual Selection acting oil males, through either male competition female choice. Brown antechinuses (Antechinus stuartii.) are sexually dimorphic in size, and heavier males are known to sire more offspring in the wild. We investigated four Possible mechanisms that might explain this large-male reproductive advantage. We tested if there is a female preference for large males, a female preference for dominant males, if larger males compete more effectively for mates, and if there is a Survival advantage for large males during the mating season. We established nesting groups of males in captivity and conducted mate choice trials in which males from nesting groups either Could or could not interact. We assessed male dominance rank and recorded survival times after mating. Females did not prefer larger males directly. The results suggest that the other three mechanisms Of Sexual selection tested account for the large-male advantage: large males competed more successfully for mates, so were socially dominant; females rejected Subordinates (males they saw losing twice in contests to previous mates); and dominant males survived for longer after their first mating. Females judged male rank based oil direct observation of male competitive interactions at the time of mating and apparently could not distinguish rank from male scent. Effects of size and dominance on male reproductive Success are not confounded by age because male antechinuses are semelparous.
Keyword Behavioral Sciences
mate choice
sexual selection
sexual size dimorphism
Sexual Size Dimorphism
Voles Clethrionomys-glareolus
Stuartii Marsupialia
Agile Antechinus
Phylogenetic Analyses
Sperm Competition
Paternity Success
Field Population
Primate Size
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 25 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 26 Jan 2008, 02:46:21 EST