Social Influences on Female Choice in Green Anole Lizards (Anolis carolinensis)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
J. E. Stellar, D. J. White
Behavioural Processes
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We conducted an experiment on female Anolis carolinensis lizards to investigate whether social factors influenced their selection of an end-chamber in a test arena. We tested (1) whether characteristics of males previously seen in the end-chambers would influence female choice and (2) whether the presence of other females simultaneously choosing would influence choice. In experiment one, females observed a large and a small male in the end-chambers prior to choosing. Females were tested individually and in pairs. When tested individually, females preferred the end-chamber previously inhabited by the larger male. When females were tested in pairs, however, in each case one female chose the large male’s endchamber and the other female failed to make a choice. In experiment two, we conducted the same paired-choice test, but prior to the test we evaluated the dominance relationships between the pair of females. In the majority of cases, the more dominant female was the one to enter the large male’s endchamber. Results indicate that females are influenced by the presence and characteristics of males, but that female competition also plays a role in choice.


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