Negative correlation between nuptial throat colour and blood parasite load in male European green lizards supports the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis

Orsolya Molnár, Katalin Bajer, Boglárka Mészáros, J. Török, G. Herczeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During female mate choice, conspicuous male sexual signals are used to infer male quality and choose the best sire for the offspring. The theory of parasite-mediated sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis) presumes that parasite infection can influence the elaboration of sexual signals: resistant individuals can invest more energy into signal expression and thus advertise their individual quality through signal intensity. By preferring these males, females can provide resistance genes for their offspring. Previous research showed that nuptial throat colour of male European green lizard, Lacerta viridis, plays a role in both inter- and intrasexual selections as a condition-dependent multiple signalling system. The aim of this study was to test the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis on male European green lizards. By blood sampling 30 adult males during the reproductive season, we found members of the Haemogregarinidae family in all but one individual (prevalence = 96 %). The infection intensity showed strong negative correlation with the throat and belly colour brightness in line with the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis. In addition, we found other correlations between infection intensity and other fitness-related traits, suggesting that parasite load has a remarkable effect on individual fitness. This study shows that throat patch colour of the European green lizards not only is a multiple signalling system but also possibly acts as an honest sexual signal of health state in accordance with the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalDie Naturwissenschaften
Volume100
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

hemoparasite
parasite intensity
parasite load
throat
lizard
lizards
color
blood
sexual selection
parasite
fitness
infection
parasites
Lacerta
prediction
blood sampling
mate choice
mating behavior
sires
breeding season

Keywords

  • Blood parasite
  • Haemogregarinidae
  • Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis
  • Lizard
  • Nuptial coloration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Negative correlation between nuptial throat colour and blood parasite load in male European green lizards supports the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis. / Molnár, Orsolya; Bajer, Katalin; Mészáros, Boglárka; Török, J.; Herczeg, G.

In: Die Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 100, No. 6, 06.2013, p. 551-558.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b1870f6c53064a91aa0a66a2800e1ec5,
title = "Negative correlation between nuptial throat colour and blood parasite load in male European green lizards supports the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis",
abstract = "During female mate choice, conspicuous male sexual signals are used to infer male quality and choose the best sire for the offspring. The theory of parasite-mediated sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis) presumes that parasite infection can influence the elaboration of sexual signals: resistant individuals can invest more energy into signal expression and thus advertise their individual quality through signal intensity. By preferring these males, females can provide resistance genes for their offspring. Previous research showed that nuptial throat colour of male European green lizard, Lacerta viridis, plays a role in both inter- and intrasexual selections as a condition-dependent multiple signalling system. The aim of this study was to test the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis on male European green lizards. By blood sampling 30 adult males during the reproductive season, we found members of the Haemogregarinidae family in all but one individual (prevalence = 96 {\%}). The infection intensity showed strong negative correlation with the throat and belly colour brightness in line with the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis. In addition, we found other correlations between infection intensity and other fitness-related traits, suggesting that parasite load has a remarkable effect on individual fitness. This study shows that throat patch colour of the European green lizards not only is a multiple signalling system but also possibly acts as an honest sexual signal of health state in accordance with the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.",
keywords = "Blood parasite, Haemogregarinidae, Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis, Lizard, Nuptial coloration",
author = "Orsolya Moln{\'a}r and Katalin Bajer and Bogl{\'a}rka M{\'e}sz{\'a}ros and J. T{\"o}r{\"o}k and G. Herczeg",
year = "2013",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1007/s00114-013-1051-4",
language = "English",
volume = "100",
pages = "551--558",
journal = "Die Naturwissenschaften",
issn = "0028-1042",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Negative correlation between nuptial throat colour and blood parasite load in male European green lizards supports the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis

AU - Molnár, Orsolya

AU - Bajer, Katalin

AU - Mészáros, Boglárka

AU - Török, J.

AU - Herczeg, G.

PY - 2013/6

Y1 - 2013/6

N2 - During female mate choice, conspicuous male sexual signals are used to infer male quality and choose the best sire for the offspring. The theory of parasite-mediated sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis) presumes that parasite infection can influence the elaboration of sexual signals: resistant individuals can invest more energy into signal expression and thus advertise their individual quality through signal intensity. By preferring these males, females can provide resistance genes for their offspring. Previous research showed that nuptial throat colour of male European green lizard, Lacerta viridis, plays a role in both inter- and intrasexual selections as a condition-dependent multiple signalling system. The aim of this study was to test the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis on male European green lizards. By blood sampling 30 adult males during the reproductive season, we found members of the Haemogregarinidae family in all but one individual (prevalence = 96 %). The infection intensity showed strong negative correlation with the throat and belly colour brightness in line with the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis. In addition, we found other correlations between infection intensity and other fitness-related traits, suggesting that parasite load has a remarkable effect on individual fitness. This study shows that throat patch colour of the European green lizards not only is a multiple signalling system but also possibly acts as an honest sexual signal of health state in accordance with the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.

AB - During female mate choice, conspicuous male sexual signals are used to infer male quality and choose the best sire for the offspring. The theory of parasite-mediated sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis) presumes that parasite infection can influence the elaboration of sexual signals: resistant individuals can invest more energy into signal expression and thus advertise their individual quality through signal intensity. By preferring these males, females can provide resistance genes for their offspring. Previous research showed that nuptial throat colour of male European green lizard, Lacerta viridis, plays a role in both inter- and intrasexual selections as a condition-dependent multiple signalling system. The aim of this study was to test the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis on male European green lizards. By blood sampling 30 adult males during the reproductive season, we found members of the Haemogregarinidae family in all but one individual (prevalence = 96 %). The infection intensity showed strong negative correlation with the throat and belly colour brightness in line with the predictions of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis. In addition, we found other correlations between infection intensity and other fitness-related traits, suggesting that parasite load has a remarkable effect on individual fitness. This study shows that throat patch colour of the European green lizards not only is a multiple signalling system but also possibly acts as an honest sexual signal of health state in accordance with the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.

KW - Blood parasite

KW - Haemogregarinidae

KW - Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis

KW - Lizard

KW - Nuptial coloration

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84879554798&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84879554798&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00114-013-1051-4

DO - 10.1007/s00114-013-1051-4

M3 - Article

C2 - 23644520

AN - SCOPUS:84879554798

VL - 100

SP - 551

EP - 558

JO - Die Naturwissenschaften

JF - Die Naturwissenschaften

SN - 0028-1042

IS - 6

ER -