Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Maria Petelo - University of Hawaii at Mānoa
Co-Author(s): Lindsey Swierk, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Sexual traits increase an individual’s fitness by providing advantages when finding mates, defending territories, and competing with other males. Sexual signals are beneficial in attracting mates, however there are costs. An example of a distinct sexual signal is the dewlap of the Norops aquaticus. Norops aquaticus is a semiaquatic anole in which the males bear a relatively large, orange-red dewlap used to attract female N. aquaticus’, fight off males, and defend their territories. In this study we investigated the costs and benefits of the dewlap explaining how a beautiful sexual signal can affect performance, morphology, and predation in N. aquaticus. Our data suggest that dewlap size and color had an effect on certain morphology measurements and performance. In addition, we investigated whether a brighter dewlap would have higher predation rates as opposed to a duller colored dewlap by using clay models. Brighter dewlap clay lizards seem to be selected more for predation.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation (NSF), Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program.
Faculty Advisor: Lindsey Swierk,