Mating systems and the evolution of alternative mating tactics
I will discuss three major areas of my lab's
research on bluegill comprising mating systems, sperm competition,
and life history evolution. I
will detail the phenotypic correlates of mating success in a
naturally breeding colony and show that parasitic males called
sneakers or satellites are superior sperm competitors to care-providing
males called parentals. Using underwater video, I will show how
these parasitic males out-compete their rivals during sperm competition.
In response to this cuckoldry, I will show that parentals use
multiple cues to assess their paternity and adjust their care
behaviour accordingly. Finally, I will discuss the evolutionary
mechanisms that might underlie the parasitic and care-providing
life histories in bluegill.