Springer Nature

Endurance rivalry and female choice jointly influence male mating success in the emerald treefrog (Zhangixalus prasinatus), a lek-chorusing anuran

Posted on 2022-04-02 - 03:28
Abstract Background Endurance rivalry and female choice are two important mechanisms of sexual selection in lek-breeding species. Endurance rivalry is when males compete for opportunities to mate by spending more time in leks than others (interaction-independent male-male competition). Because high-quality males can afford to have high lek attendance, females have a higher chance of mating with good-quality males even when they mate randomly. The good gene hypothesis proposes that females can pass good genes on to their offspring by choosing males that display elaborate morphological and/or behavioral traits that reflect the males’ genetic quality. The relative importance of lek attendance and female choice to males’ mating success in anurans is rarely evaluated. In this study, we investigated how these two mechanisms might jointly shape males’ morphological traits in the lek-chorusing emerald treefrog Zhangixalus prasinatus. Results Our results show that (1) male lek attendance is positively correlated with body size and condition, and males with higher lek attendance have higher mating success, (2) the dominant frequency of males’ advertisement calls are negatively correlated with body size and males producing lower frequency calls have higher mating success, (3) male body size, but not body condition, has a non-significant positive relationship with mating success and (4) females show preference for calls with lower dominant frequencies in two-choice playback. Conclusions Overall, both endurance rivalry and female choice play an important role in the mating success of male emerald treefrogs in the field and both are influenced by male body size/condition. By mating with males that have higher lek attendance and produce lower frequency calls, selection may indirectly favor larger males.


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