Navigation Links
Male sex ornaments are fishing lures, literally
Date:7/12/2012

Talk about a bait-and-switch. Male representatives of the tropical fish known as swordtail characins have flag-like sex ornaments that catch mates just like the bait on a fishing rod would. What's more, a study reported online on July 12 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, shows just what any good fly-fisherman would know: Lures work best if they mimic the foods that fish most often eat. For some characins in the study, that means males are waving pretend ants around in hopes of getting a bite.

"This is a natural example of a fishing lure designed to maximize the chance to catch a fish," said Niclas Kolm of Uppsala University. "In this case, it is not just any fish, howeverit is a fish of the opposite sex that the lure is designed to catch."

The findings also lend support to the notion that sensory drive can encourage fish and other animals to diversify and ultimately to become separate species. Sensory drive is the idea that communication signals will work best when they are a good match for their surroundings and that they will diversify when those surroundings vary.

The characins living in Trinidad show considerable variation in the shape of male sex ornaments, and the researchers suspected that those differences might have something to do with what they eat. The fish mainly eat bugs, including ants, beetles, springtails, and fly larvae, which fall onto the water surface. In some populations, characins eat mostly ants, while in others they eat few.

Kolm's team now confirms that characins that mainly eat ants also carry sex ornaments that look more like ants. Studies in the lab also show that females who have been fed on ants prefer to bite at the ornaments of males from populations that mainly eat ants. That's presumably because those females rapidly develop a search image for ants.

The findings show that sensory drive can promote differences among populations based entirely on other species in the community, even when all other environmental factors are the same. They also blur the distinction between food and mate preferences, the researchers say.

In this case, it seems, the best mate is also the one that looks most like dinner.


'/>"/>
Contact: Elisabeth Lyons
elyons@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches
2. 1 solution to global overfishing found
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)...   Neurotechnology , a provider of high-precision ... the release of the SentiVeillance 6.0 ... recognition using up to 10 surveillance, security and ... new version uses deep neural-network-based facial detection and ... a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for enhanced speed. ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... PMD Healthcare announces the release of its ... System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and ... is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care ... innovative solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare ... developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March ... Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading personal ... food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with personalized ... health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting ... Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017  UBM and the Massachusetts Medical ... extended partnership and the third annual Massachusetts Medtech Week. ... 21 st Annual MassMEDIC Conference held in ... 3-4, 2017. MassMEDIC will feature ... President and CEO, Scott Whitaker , at ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ways to ... as of late due to the rise of the opioid ... dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as Biotech and ... new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. Biotech and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 21, 2017 , ... Okyanos Cell Therapy ... as part of their live events series, “Stem Cell Therapy: The Next Phase in ... under the 2013 Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act, Okyanos maintains a ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... its innovative Quantum peristaltic pump with patented ReNu single-use (SU) cartridge technology. ... standard for high-pressure feed pumps in SU tangential flow filtration (TFF), virus ...
Breaking Biology Technology: