Journal article

Why are females ornamented? A test of the courtship stimulation and courtship rejection hypotheses

Rita Chan, Devi Stuart-Fox, Tim S Jessop

BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY | OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC | Published : 2009

Abstract

Female ornamentation was initially thought to reflect genetic correlation with the more elaborate male trait. However, this cannot explain female-specific ornamentation, such as the conspicuous coloration displayed by females of many species during breeding. Females may exhibit distinctive, reproductive coloration to 1) advertise receptivity and stimulate male courtship or 2) advertise nonreceptivity when gravid to reduce male courtship, harassment, and potentially costly copulations. We tested both hypotheses in the Lake Eyre dragon lizard (Ctenophorus maculosus) by quantifying female coloration, using spectroradiometry and a model of lizard color perception, and male and female behavior ac..

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University of Melbourne Researchers