Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards

Klomp, D.A. and Ord, T.J and Das, I. and Diesmos, A. and Ahmad, N. and Stuart-Fox, D. (2016) Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2016. ISSN 1010-061X

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Abstract

Sexual ornamentation needs to be conspicuous to be effective in attracting potential mates and defending territories and indeed, a multitude of ways exists to achieve this. Two principal mechanisms for increasing conspicuousness are to increase the ornament's colour or brightness contrast against the background and to increase the size of the ornament. We assessed the relationship between the colour and size of the dewlap, a large extendible throat-fan, across a range of species of gliding lizards (Agamidae; genus Draco) from Malaysia and the Philippines. We found a negative relationship across species between colour contrast against the background and dewlap size in males, but not in females, suggesting that males of different species use increasing colour contrast and dewlap size as alternative strategies for effective communication. Male dewlap size also increases with increasing sexual size dimorphism, and dewlap colour and brightness contrast increase with increasing sexual dichromatism in colour and brightness, respectively, suggesting that sexual selection may act on both dewlap size and colour. We further found evidence that relative predation intensity, as measured from predator attacks on models placed in the field, may play a role in the choice of strategy (high chromatic contrast or large dewlap area) a species employs. More broadly, these results highlight that each component in a signal (such as colour or size) may be influenced by different selection pressures and that by assessing components individually, we can gain a greater understanding of the evolution of signal diversity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coloration; Comparative analyses; Lizard; Signalling; Visual ecology, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2016 19:40
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2016 19:40
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/12815

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