Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Female preference for a male sexual trait uncorrelated with male body size in the Palmate newt (Triturus helveticus)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

Mate choice is often based on the assessment of multiple traits. Depending on whether traits provide redundant or different information about male characteristics, correlation between traits is expected to arise or not. In species where size increases with age, body size can be a reliable indicator of adult survival whereas secondary sexual traits advertise other qualities like the ability to exploit local resources. However, because of correlations between morphological traits it is often difficult to determine whether females base their preference on the absolute or the relative size of secondary sexual traits. We addressed this issue in the palmate newt, Triturus helveticus. We selected the two most variable traits, body size and filament length, whose weak correlation suggested that they could signal different aspects of male condition or quality. We tested female preference for both traits in two experiments in which we controlled either for body size or filament length. Females preferred males with long filament in experiment 1 and males with small body sizes in experiment 2. The preference for an exaggerated trait like the caudal filament is not unexpected in a context of inter-sexual selection. In contrast, the preference for small males contrasts with usual findings on mate choice. However, body size might not be a reliable quality indicator because males of different cohorts can experience different conditions throughout their life. The caudal filament, grown each breeding period, likely reflects male condition. By assessing such a character, females might evaluate the performance of a potential partner in the current environment regardless of its age.

Affiliations: 1: PPF Landscapes and Biodiversity, UFR Sciences, Université d'Angers, Campus de Belle-Beille, 2 bd Lavoisier 49045 Angers, France; Department of Biology, Life Science Building 528, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8S 4K1; 2: PPF Landscapes and Biodiversity, UFR Sciences, Université d'Angers, Campus de Belle-Beille, 2 bd Lavoisier 49045 Angers, France


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation