The significant role of post-pairing male behavior on the evolution of male preferences and female traits

Nan Lyu, D. Justin Yeh, Huw Lloyd, Yue Hua Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Existing sexual selection theory postulates that a sufficiently large variation in female fecundity or other direct benefits are fundamental for generating male mate choice. In this study, we suggest that, in addition to pre-pairing preferences, choosy males can also have different post-pairing behaviors, a factor which has been comparatively overlooked by previous studies. We found that both male preferences and female traits could evolve much more easily than previously expected when the choosy males that paired with unpreferred females would allocate more efforts to seeking additional post-pairing mating opportunities. Furthermore, a costly female trait could evolve when there was a trade-off between seeking additional mating and paternal care investment within social pair for choosy males. Finally, a costly male preference and a costly female trait might still evolve and reach a stable polymorphic state in the population, which might give rise to a high variability in male choice and female traits in nature. We suggest that male mate choice may be even more common than expected, which needs to be verified empirically.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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