Library Open Repository
Testosterone, ticks and travels: a test of the immunocompetence–handicap hypothesis in free-ranging male sand lizards
Olsson, M and Wapstra, E and Madsen, T and Silverin, B (2000) Testosterone, ticks and travels: a test of the immunocompetence–handicap hypothesis in free-ranging male sand lizards. Proceedings of the Royal Society - Biological Sciences (Series B), 267 (1459). pp. 2339-2343. ISSN 0962-8452
2000OlssonetalP...pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.
The immunocompetence-handicap hypothesis suggests that androgen-dependent male characters
constitute honest signals of mate and/or rival quality because of the imposed costs through immune
suppression associated with elevated testosterone levels. We demonstrate in a field experiment that male
sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) exposed to elevated testosterone su¡ered from increased mass loss and tick
load compared to control males. Although the first of these two results could be due to an elevated basal
metabolic rate from increased plasma testosterone levels, the increased parasite load was statistically
independent of the loss in body condition and is likely to be due to compromised immune function.
Testosterone-treated males showed greater mobility than control males, and greater mobility resulted in
higher mating success. Our experiment thus lends support to the immunocompetence-handicap
hypothesis, suggesting that male testosterone levels have been moderated by balancing selection for
reproductive success and sustained immune function.
|Keywords:||immunocompetence-handicap hypothesis; sand lizard; mass loss; tick load|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Proceedings of the Royal Society - Biological Sciences (Series B)|
|Page Range:||pp. 2339-2343|
|Identification Number - DOI:||10.1098/rspb.2000.1289|
Copyright 2007 Royal Society of London.
|Date Deposited:||15 Nov 2007 03:07|
|Last Modified:||18 Nov 2014 03:24|
|Item Statistics:||View statistics for this item|
Actions (login required)
|Item Control Page|