Male choice for female colour morphs in Ischnura elegans (Odonata, Coenagrionidae): testing the hypotheses
Van Gossum, H × Stoks, Robby Matthysen, E Valck, F De Bruyn, L #
Academic press ltd
Animal behaviour vol:57 pages:1229-1232
The occurrence of different conspecific female colour morphs, with one of the morphs resembling the male, is supposed to have consequences for mate choice. There are two hypotheses linking mate choice and female colour polymorphism. First, males may mate predominantly with female morphs that differ from the male because they do not recognize androchrome females as females (male mimic hypothesis). Second, males may be more attracted to the most common morph in the population (habituation hypothesis). We tested these hypotheses in five populations of the same species, Ischnura elegans, with a range of androchrome frequencies. In each population we performed binary choice experiments in small cages. Males did not consistently prefer gynochrome females but mated predominantly with the most common morph in the population. Moreover, a reanalysis of the available damselfly data in the literature also supported the habituation hypothesis. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.