Mate compatibility, parental allocation and fitness consequences of mate choice in the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus

TK Lehtonen, Kai Lindström

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent theory and empirical work suggests that there may be variation among females in mate preferences that is adaptive. One of the possible mechanisms maintaining variability in preferences and preferred traits is that the benefits of mate choice may depend on compatibility with potential mating partners. We examined fitness consequences of mate choice in a species of fish, the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus with a special focus on mate compatibility. Females were given the opportunity to establish their mate preferences in a dichotomous mate choice experiment. This information was then applied by mating the focal or control female with either the preferred or the non-preferred male. The parental performance of the males of these four mating combinations was then measured. In a separate experiment, we assessed the female differential allocation by determining the residual gonad weight of spawned females as a measure of the proportion of eggs spawned. We also estimated the amount of filial cannibalism separately for both sexes. Our results show that preferred males provided benefits in the form of an increased number of hatching eggs. This benefit was the same when the male was mated with a focal or a control female. Hence, we found no support for benefits that depend on mate compatibility. Neither did we find support for the hypothesis that females would lay a different number of eggs depending on the male status. The results also indicate that male filial cannibalism has a strong role in determining hatching success in this species.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1581–1588
    Number of pages8
    JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • filial cannibalism
    • genetic compatibility
    • mate choice
    • parental allocation
    • sand goby

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