Courtship and mate choice in fishes: integrating behavioral and sensory ecology

Robert Craig Sargent, Victor N. Rush, Brian D. Wisenden, Hong Y. Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


SYNOPSIS. Sexual selection theory predicts a coevolution between male sexual ornamentation and female preference. The implication of this prediction for sensory ecology is that there should be a tight coupling between the physiology of male signal production and the physiology of female signal reception. Indicator models of sexual selection predict that male ornamentation is correlated with male condition, and that female preference is correlated with male ornamentation. Indicator models of sexual selection have a conceptual overlap with resource acquisition and investment models of behavioral ecology. Empirical studies with fishes, particularly with guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), suggest a strong connection between acquired resources, male condition, male ornamentation, male courtship, and female preference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-96
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Zoologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)


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