Females prefer lovers over fighters as mates
A new study has revealed that females prefer courtship over competitiveness when it comes to choosing mates.
The study by scientists at the University of Exeter and the Universities of Okayama and Tsukuba in Japan investigated the complicated sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus, the horned flour-beetle and found that female mate choice and male-male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection, which do not do not always favour the same males.
According to the study, female choice targets male courtship rather than mandible size, and that the two traits are not physically or genetically correlated.
Professor Dave Hosken, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus, said that a major finding of this study was that the most attractive males, those most preferred by females, were not the highly competitive males with large mandibles.
Hosken said that this is despite the fact these fighter males enjoy significant mating advantages when in direct competition for females, while the females prefer to mate with males that court more.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)