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Mate Choice in Lizards: A Review

Richard R. Tokarz
Herpetological Monographs
Vol. 9 (1995), pp. 17-40
Published by: Herpetologists' League
DOI: 10.2307/1466994
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466994
Page Count: 24
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Mate Choice in Lizards: A Review
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Abstract

Although intrasexual competition among males is known to be an important determinant of male mating success in lizards, less is known about what role the mate choice component of sexual selection may play in determining male and female mating success. The purpose of this review was to consider the evidence for mate choice in lizards. The issue of whether females in territorial species choose where to reside, and thus mating partners, based on the availability of resources or on male phenotypic traits is largely unresolved in most species. There is, however, good empirical evidence for at least one territorial species that the availability of resources is a more important factor than male phenotypic traits in determining where females reside, and thus their mating partners. Although male body size is known to be a key factor determining male mating success in lizards, only one study of female mate choice has found a significant relationship between female mating preferences and male body size. The best evidence for the importance of male phenotypic traits in female mate choice comes from studies of Anolis lizards that demonstrate that female mating preferences are affected by male display behavior. Findings from studies of female mate choice in lizards support Halliday's causal model of female mate choice and Ryan's sensory exploitation hypothesis, but not the Hamilton and Zuk hypothesis. Finally, a male mating preference for unfamiliar females has been reported in two highly territorial species.

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