Covariation among behavioral and physiological traits is thought to enhance reproductive success and Darwinian fitness. Species that exhibit alternative mating strategies provide excellent opportunities to assess the relative contributions of physiological and behavioral traits to fitness. Male side-blotched lizards (Uta stans-buriana) exhibit three heritable throat color morphs that are associated with alternative mating behaviors. The three morphs differ in resource holding potential, mate attraction, mate defense, and physiological performance. We examined interrelationships of body mass, stamina, field metabolic rate, growth rate, and survival to the second capture (a fitness proxy). Relationships among variables were complex, and mass, stamina, and throat color interacted to predict male survival. Our analyses suggest that male side-blotched lizards exhibit trade-offs among physiological traits related to reproductive success and survival and that differential survival for different combinations of traits has caused correlational selection, leading to adaptive integration of phenotypic traits associated with alternative mating strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Alternative mating strategies
- Field metabolic rate
- Growth rate
- Uta stansburiana