Like many other mammals, Saccopteryx bilineata exhibits a polygynous mating system, in which each male defends a group of females called a harem. Colonies consist of several harems, and nonharem males roost adjacent to harems. Unlike most other mammals, females disperse from their natal colony and most juvenile males remain in it. Thus, colonies consist of patrilines, which promotes intense local mate competition. Females are in estrus during a few weeks at the end of the rainy season. Mating is most likely initiated by females and preceded by intense courtship displays of males. Forty percent of colony males do not sire any offspring during their tenure in the colony, whereas a few males can sire up to 6 offspring in a single year. Males use olfactory, visual, and acoustic signals for courtship, and they demonstrate territory ownership by scent marks, low-frequency calls, and visual displays. Harem males sire on average more offspring than do nonharem males but produce only 30% of the offspring within their own harem territory, with 70% being sired by other harem males or nonharem males. Reproductive success of males increases with decreasing size, fluctuating asymmetry, and fundamental frequency of territorial calls. In addition, females that are closely related to the harem holder are more likely to mate with other males than with the harem holder. Sexual selection in S. bilineata is most likely influenced by intense local mate competition caused by scarce roosts and the patrilineal organization of colonies.
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