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

D. A. Klomp, T. J. Ord, I. Das, A. Diesmos, Norhayati Ahmad, D. Stuart-Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1700
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Fingerprint

gliding
lizard
animal communication
lizards
communication
color
Agamidae
ornamentation
dimorphism
throat
sexual selection
Philippines
Malaysia
predation
predator
predators

Keywords

  • coloration
  • comparative analyses
  • lizard
  • signalling
  • visual ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards. / Klomp, D. A.; Ord, T. J.; Das, I.; Diesmos, A.; Ahmad, Norhayati; Stuart-Fox, D.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 29, No. 9, 01.09.2016, p. 1689-1700.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Klomp, D. A. ; Ord, T. J. ; Das, I. ; Diesmos, A. ; Ahmad, Norhayati ; Stuart-Fox, D. / Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards. In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2016 ; Vol. 29, No. 9. pp. 1689-1700.
@article{2479f829b5644dc1bb44ba26b75f5c10,
title = "Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards",
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.",
keywords = "coloration, comparative analyses, lizard, signalling, visual ecology",
author = "Klomp, {D. A.} and Ord, {T. J.} and I. Das and A. Diesmos and Norhayati Ahmad and D. Stuart-Fox",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jeb.12908",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "1689--1700",
journal = "Journal of Evolutionary Biology",
issn = "1010-061X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ornament size and colour as alternative strategies for effective communication in gliding lizards

AU - Klomp, D. A.

AU - Ord, T. J.

AU - Das, I.

AU - Diesmos, A.

AU - Ahmad, Norhayati

AU - Stuart-Fox, D.

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - coloration

KW - comparative analyses

KW - lizard

KW - signalling

KW - visual ecology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028277222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85028277222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jeb.12908

DO - 10.1111/jeb.12908

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 1689

EP - 1700

JO - Journal of Evolutionary Biology

JF - Journal of Evolutionary Biology

SN - 1010-061X

IS - 9

ER -