In some animals, females are often compelled to mate with less desirable males due to the males' alternative mating tactics. Male guppies, Poecilia reticulata, exhibit courtship displays and cooperatively copulate with females. However, they also exhibit sneaking behaviors and coercively copulate with females. To examine the consequences of these two mating patterns, we investigated the influence of copulation type, i.e., cooperative or coercive, on parturition and brood size of females. A single female was allowed to freely contact and copulate with a single male only once. Males that cooperatively copulated with females had larger orange spot areas (an important criterion of female mate choice) than males that copulated coercively. Most females that were coerced into copulation did not give birth to offspring within 100 days after mating. The probability of parturition was high when females copulated cooperatively, and when their mates exhibited frequent postcopulatory jerking behavior. However, the results suggest that copulation type did not affect brood size. Brood size was positively influenced by both female body size and male orange spot area. These results suggest that parturient success is low when females are coerced into mating by less desirable males, whereas brood size is independent of copulation type.
alternative reproductive tactics
female mate choice