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UV-deprived coloration reduces success in mate acquisition in male sand lizards (Lacerta agilis)


Olsson, M and Andersson, S and Wapstra, E, UV-deprived coloration reduces success in mate acquisition in male sand lizards (Lacerta agilis), PLoS One, 6, (5) pp. e19360. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2011 Wapstra, E et al.

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DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019360


Background: Recent work on animal signals has revealed a wide occurrence of UV signals in tetrapods, in particular birds, but also in lizards (and perhaps other Squamate reptiles). Our previous work on the Swedish sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) has verified, both in correlative selection analyses in the wild and with laboratory and field experiments, the importance of the green ‘badge’ on the body sides of adult males for securing mating opportunities, probably mostly through deterring rival males rather than attracting females. The role of UV in communication has, however, never been examined. Methodology/PrincipalFindings: Here we show that when measured immediately after spring skin shedding, there is also signaling in the UV. By UV-depriving the signal (reflectance) with sun block chemicals fixated with permeable, harmless spray dressing, we show that males in the control group (spray dressing only) had significantly higher success in mate acquisition than UV-deprived males. Conclusions/Significance:These results suggest that at least two colour traits in sand lizards, badge area and UV, contribute to rival deterrence and/or female choice on UV characters, which elevates success in mate acquisition in UV intact male sand lizards.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:69902
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-05-24
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:470 View Download Statistics

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