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Multiple mating by females is not dependent on body size in the salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus

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Male mate choice for particular "classes" of females may be devalued if chosen females are more likely to mate with multiple partners (thus precipitating sperm competition). Larger females carry greater numbers of eggs available for fertilization in the plethodontid salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus, and are chosen by males in simultaneous mate-choice tests. We found no difference in mating frequency between 12 large females and 12 smaller females across 576 male-female encounters. Given limited published data on patterns of sperm utilization in this salamander, we conclude that male choice of more fecund partners may be advantageous even in the face of multiple mating by females and resultant sperm competition. Studies of natural populations of salamanders are required to confirm this conclusion.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853896x00261
1996-01-01
2016-12-08

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