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Sex as moderator of early life experiences: interaction between rearing environment and sexual experience in male guppies
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1426-0036
2012 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 84, no 4, 1023-1029 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The effects of learning have been neglected in studies of sexual selection because previous researchers have assumed, implicitly or explicitly, that sexual behaviour is genetically fixed. To understand the role of learning in sexual selection, it is important to investigate how early experience interacts with adult experience to determine the use of different mating strategies. We explored this interaction by comparing the sexual behaviour of male guppies, Poecilia reticulata, raised in different social environments before and after they gained sexual experience. Males raised with other males performed long courtship displays at first, but decreased their courtship after they had gained sexual experience. However, for males raised only with females, sexual experience did not modify courtship duration. Males raised exclusively with females exhibited high rates of forced copulation attempts in their first encounter with a female, but reduced this behaviour after sexual experience. In contrast, males raised with other males did not modify their forced copulations. Adult sexual experience appeared to mitigate the behavioural differences caused by variation in rearing environment. Sexual experience helps males to find an optimal balance between courtship displays and forced copulation attempts. We also show that more males exhibited male–male aggression after sexual experience if they had social interactions with other males early in life. This study highlights that courtship and other sexual strategies are not fixed, and that several potential sources of variation exist in the development of an animal's sexual behaviour. Importantly, juvenile and adult experiences can interact to shape sexual behaviour in males.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 84, no 4, 1023-1029 p.
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology; Natural Science, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18796DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.07.028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-18796DiVA: diva2:527881
Available from: 2012-05-22 Created: 2012-05-22 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf