Nature Publishing Group, publisher of Nature, and other science journals and reference works
Nature
my account e-alerts subscribe register
   
Tuesday 19 September 2017
Journal Home
Current Issue
AOP
Archive
Download PDF
References
Export citation
Export references
Send to a friend
More articles like this

Letters to Nature
Nature 380, 240 - 243 (21 March 1996); doi:10.1038/380240a0

The rock–paper–scissors game and the evolution of alternative male strategies

B. Sinervo & C. M. Lively

Department of Biology and Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA

MANY species exhibit colour polymorphisms associated with alternative male reproductive strategies, including territorial males and 'sneaker males' that behave and look like females1–3. The prevalence of multiple morphs is a challenge to evolutionary theory because a single strategy should prevail unless morphs have exactly equal fitness4,5 or a fitness advantage when rare6,7. We report here the application of an evolutionary stable strategy model to a three-morph mating system in the side-blotched lizard. Using parameter estimates from field data, the model predicted oscillations in morph frequency, and the frequencies of the three male morphs were found to oscillate over a six-year period in the field. The fitnesses of each morph relative to other morphs were non-transitive in that each morph could invade another morph when rare, but was itself invadable by another morph when common. Concordance between frequency-dependent selection and the among-year changes in morph fitnesses suggest that male interactions drive a dynamic 'rock–paper–scissors' game7.

------------------

References

1. Gross, M. R. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B332, 59−66 (1991).
2. Moore, M. C. & Thompson, C. W. in Progress in Clinical and Biological Research (eds Epple, A., Scanes, C. G. & Stetson, M. H.) 685−690 (1990). | ChemPort |
3. Brantley, R. K., Wingfield, J. C. & Bass, A. H. Horm. Behav. 27, 332−347 (1993). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
4. Ryan, M. J., Pease, C. M. & Morris, M. R. Am. Nat. 139, 21−31 (1992). | Article |
5. Shuster, S. M. & Wade, M. J. Nature 350, 608−610 (1991). | Article | ISI |
6. Charnov, E. L. Life History Invariants: Some Explorations of Symmetry in Evolutionary Ecology 1−167 (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1993).
7. Maynard-Smith, J. Evolution and the Theory of Games (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1982).
8. Sinervo, B., Miles, D. B., DeNardo, D., Frankino, T. & Klukowski, M. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (submitted).
9. Kindler, P. M., Phillip, D. P., Gross, M. R. & Bahr, J. M. Gen. comp. Endocrinol. 75, 446−453 (1989). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
10. Rand, M. S. Gen. comp. Endocrinol. 88, 461−468 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
11. Cardwell, J. R. & Liley, N. R. Gen. comp. Endocrinol. 81, 7−20 (1991). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
12. Hews, D. K., Knapp, R. & Moore, M. C. Horm. Behav. 28, 96−115 (1994). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
13. Lande, R. & Arnold, S. J. Evolution 37, 1210−1226 (1983). | ISI |
14. Sinervo, B., Doughty, P., Huey, R. B. & Zamudio, K. Science 258, 1927−1930 (1992). | ISI |
15. Sinervo, B. & DeNardo, D. F. Evolution (in the press).
16. DeNardo, D. F. & Sinervo, B. Horm. Behav. 28, 53−65 (1994). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
17. DeNardo, D. F. & Sinervo, B. Horm. Behav. 28, 273−287 (1994). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
18. Sinervo, B. & Doughty, P. Evolution (in the press).
19. Falconer, D. S. Introduction to Quantitative Genetics 1−340 (Longman, New York, 1981).



© 1996 Nature Publishing Group
Privacy Policy