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Differential sex allocation in sand lizards: bright males induce daughter production in a species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes

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Olsson, M and Wapstra, E and Uller, T (2005) Differential sex allocation in sand lizards: bright males induce daughter production in a species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Biology Letters, 1. pp. 378-380. ISSN 1744-9561

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Abstract

In sand lizards (Lacerta agilis), males with
more and brighter nuptial coloration also have
more DNA fragments visualized in restriction
fragment length polymorphism analysis of their
major histocompatibility complex class I loci
(and, hence, are probably more heterozygous at
these loci). Such males produce more viable
offspring, with a particularly strong viability
effect on daughters. This suggests that females
should adjust both their reproductive investment
and offspring sex ratio in relation to male
coloration (i.e. differential allocation). Our
results show that experimental manipulation of
partner coloration in the wild results in signifi-
cantly higher maternal effort and a 10% higher
proportion of daughters than sons. This supports
the hypothesis that females increase their
maternal energetic expenditure and adjust their
offspring sex ratio in response to high-quality
partners. However, it also suggests that this has
probably evolved through natural selection for
increased offspring viability (primarily through
production of daughters), rather than through
increased mate attraction (e.g. sexy sons).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: sex allocation; maternal allocation; male attractiveness; major histocompatibility complex; heteromorphic sex chromosomes
Journal or Publication Title: Biology Letters
Page Range: pp. 378-380
ISSN: 1744-9561
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0327
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2007 03:01
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:23
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