Ultraviolet signals ultra-aggression in a lizard

Whiting, Martin J., Stuart-Fox, Devi M., O'Connor, David, Firth, David, Bennett, Nigel C. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2006) Ultraviolet signals ultra-aggression in a lizard. Animal Behaviour, 72 2: 353-363. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.10.018

Author Whiting, Martin J.
Stuart-Fox, Devi M.
O'Connor, David
Firth, David
Bennett, Nigel C.
Blomberg, Simon P.
Title Ultraviolet signals ultra-aggression in a lizard
Journal name Animal Behaviour   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3472
Publication date 2006-08-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.10.018
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 72
Issue 2
Start page 353
End page 363
Total pages 11
Place of publication London
Publisher Elsevier Science Ltd
Language eng
Abstract Understanding the role of multiple colour signals during sexual signalling is a central theme in animal communication. We quantified the role of multiple colour signals (including ultraviolet, UV), measures of body size and testosterone levels in settling disputes between male rivals in an elaborately ornamented, African lizard, played out in a large 'tournament' in the wild. The hue and brightness (total reflectance) of the UV throat in Augrabies flat lizards, Platysaurus broadleyi, as well as body size, were consistent and strong predictors of 'fighting ability'. Males with high fighting ability were larger and displayed a UV throat with low total reflectance. In contrast, males with low fighting ability were smaller and had violet throats with broader spectral reflectance curves (higher total reflectance). As fighting ability is associated with alternative reproductive tactics in this system (territorial versus floater), we also examined the role of colour signals in predicting male reproductive tactic. Territorial males had UV throats with higher chroma but had poorer body condition than floater males, probably because of the energetic costs of maintaining a territory. Although testosterone was not a significant predictor of fighting ability or reproductive tactic, it was correlated with the hue of the UV throat, suggesting that testosterone may impose some constraint on signal expression. Lastly, we show that within the context of the natural signalling environment, UV-reflective throats constitute a conspicuous, effective signal that male Augrabies flat lizards use to advertise their status honestly to rivals. (c) 2006 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Behavioral Sciences
Male Tree Lizards
Sexual Selection
Color Patterns
Territorial Behavior
Hormonal Responses
Mate Preferences
Blue Tits
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 92 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 96 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 02:29:04 EST