Translator Disclaimer
1 September 2009 The Cost of Reliable Signaling: Experimental Evidence for Predictable Variation Among Males in a Cost-Benefit Trade-Off between Sexually Selected Traits
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Claw size of male fiddler crabs, Uca perplexa appears to be a target of female choice that increases the likelihood a female will initially approach a male. Here we show that a behavioral display trait, the maximum height that the tip of the claw reaches during a courtship wave, is a strong correlate of the subsequent likelihood that a female will visit a male's burrow (which is a prerequisite for a burrow mating). We experimentally manipulated claw mass, to test whether there is a trade-off between claw mass and wave height. Males with a metal weight added to their claw showed a large reduction in wave height, whereas control males (plastic added) showed no net change in wave height. There is therefore a trade-off between these two sexually selected traits (claw size and wave display). More importantly, the greater the initial wave height the smaller the subsequent decline in wave height. Assuming that variation in wave height is an index of quality, this variation in the cost-benefit trade-off is consistent with the requirements of a signaling system that conforms to the handicap principle when fitness is the multiplicative product of different fitness components. We conclude by discussing the ongoing difficulties in testing the handicap principle.

© 2009 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Minoru Murai, Patricia R. Y. Backwell, and Michael D. Jennions "The Cost of Reliable Signaling: Experimental Evidence for Predictable Variation Among Males in a Cost-Benefit Trade-Off between Sexually Selected Traits," Evolution 63(9), 2363-2371, (1 September 2009). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00726.x
Received: 2 February 2009; Accepted: 1 April 2009; Published: 1 September 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
9 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top