Influence of predation risk on male courtship and mate choice in sailfin mollies, Poecilia latipinna
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Females are typically considered the “choosier” sex, however males may express a great deal choice under certain circumstances (sperm limitation and competition, parental investment, and resource limitation, etc.). Despite the strong effects of predation risk observed on female choice, few studies have examined to role of risk on shaping male mate choice. Herein we reviewed the literature on male mate choice and predation risk. We then presented the results of a study of the effects of varying levels of predation risk on the male mate choice in sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna). The presence of a predator (at both high and low levels of predation risk) had no affect on the overall levels of male receptivity. Predation risk also did not affect the degree to which males preferred to associate with a conspecific female over a heterospecific, sexual parasite, the amazon molly (Poecilia formosa). In the absence of predation risk, however, males did show a significant preference for displaying to amazon mollies. This preference was extinguished at both levels of predation risk. These results indicate that, if anything, the presence of predation risk makes males less choosy about which female they choose to court.