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Many Mates Make Male Pipefish Choosy

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In the sex-role reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle males search for mates, and prefer to mate with large rather than small females. When mate density was experimentally manipulated, males exerted a mate choice only under high mate density, whereas no mate choice could be demonstrated under low mate density. Hence, when mates are infrequently encountered, males reduce the costs associated with an extended mate search by accepting females that otherwise would have been rejected.


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Affiliations: 1: (Dept. of Zoology, Uppsala University, Villav. 9, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden


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