Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis)

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal communication through colour signals is a central themein sexual selection. Structural colours can be just as costly and honest signals as pigmentbased colours. Ultraviolet (UV) is a structural colour that can be important both in intrasexual competition and mate choice. However, it is still unknownif aUVsignal alone can determine the outcome of male-male fights. European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) males develop a nuptial throat coloration with a strong UV component. Among males differing only in their manipulated UV colour, females prefer males with higher UV. Here, we experimentally decreased the UV coloration of randomly chosen males from otherwise similar male pairs to test the hypothesis that a difference in UV colour alone can affect fight success during male-male competition. Our results fully supported the hypotheses: In almost 90 per cent of the contests the male with reduced UV lost the fight. Our results show that UV can be an important signal, affecting both female mate choice and determining male fight success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866-868
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 23 2011

Fingerprint

Lacerta
Lizards
lizards
Color
color
mating behavior
Animal Communication
throat
Pharynx
sexual selection
animal communication

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Lacerta viridis
  • Male-male competition
  • Sexual selection
  • Signal
  • Ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis). / Bajer, Katalin; Molnár, Orsolya; Török, J.; Herczeg, G.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 7, No. 6, 23.12.2011, p. 866-868.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3abc63b62f064169b55e82b65f521b13,
title = "Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis)",
abstract = "Animal communication through colour signals is a central themein sexual selection. Structural colours can be just as costly and honest signals as pigmentbased colours. Ultraviolet (UV) is a structural colour that can be important both in intrasexual competition and mate choice. However, it is still unknownif aUVsignal alone can determine the outcome of male-male fights. European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) males develop a nuptial throat coloration with a strong UV component. Among males differing only in their manipulated UV colour, females prefer males with higher UV. Here, we experimentally decreased the UV coloration of randomly chosen males from otherwise similar male pairs to test the hypothesis that a difference in UV colour alone can affect fight success during male-male competition. Our results fully supported the hypotheses: In almost 90 per cent of the contests the male with reduced UV lost the fight. Our results show that UV can be an important signal, affecting both female mate choice and determining male fight success.",
keywords = "Communication, Lacerta viridis, Male-male competition, Sexual selection, Signal, Ultraviolet",
author = "Katalin Bajer and Orsolya Moln{\'a}r and J. T{\"o}r{\"o}k and G. Herczeg",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2011.0520",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "866--868",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis)

AU - Bajer, Katalin

AU - Molnár, Orsolya

AU - Török, J.

AU - Herczeg, G.

PY - 2011/12/23

Y1 - 2011/12/23

N2 - Animal communication through colour signals is a central themein sexual selection. Structural colours can be just as costly and honest signals as pigmentbased colours. Ultraviolet (UV) is a structural colour that can be important both in intrasexual competition and mate choice. However, it is still unknownif aUVsignal alone can determine the outcome of male-male fights. European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) males develop a nuptial throat coloration with a strong UV component. Among males differing only in their manipulated UV colour, females prefer males with higher UV. Here, we experimentally decreased the UV coloration of randomly chosen males from otherwise similar male pairs to test the hypothesis that a difference in UV colour alone can affect fight success during male-male competition. Our results fully supported the hypotheses: In almost 90 per cent of the contests the male with reduced UV lost the fight. Our results show that UV can be an important signal, affecting both female mate choice and determining male fight success.

AB - Animal communication through colour signals is a central themein sexual selection. Structural colours can be just as costly and honest signals as pigmentbased colours. Ultraviolet (UV) is a structural colour that can be important both in intrasexual competition and mate choice. However, it is still unknownif aUVsignal alone can determine the outcome of male-male fights. European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) males develop a nuptial throat coloration with a strong UV component. Among males differing only in their manipulated UV colour, females prefer males with higher UV. Here, we experimentally decreased the UV coloration of randomly chosen males from otherwise similar male pairs to test the hypothesis that a difference in UV colour alone can affect fight success during male-male competition. Our results fully supported the hypotheses: In almost 90 per cent of the contests the male with reduced UV lost the fight. Our results show that UV can be an important signal, affecting both female mate choice and determining male fight success.

KW - Communication

KW - Lacerta viridis

KW - Male-male competition

KW - Sexual selection

KW - Signal

KW - Ultraviolet

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82455175839&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82455175839&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0520

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0520

M3 - Article

C2 - 21715397

AN - SCOPUS:82455175839

VL - 7

SP - 866

EP - 868

JO - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 6

ER -