Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Biology Dept.


Catherine R. Bevier


Female mate choice is an important component of sexual selection because traits that influence male mate preference, such as physiology, and proficiency in acquiring resources, are favored. In lizards, the importance of mate choice remains unclear as reported results from experiments are contradictory. In this study, I investigated whether male physiology and territory quality are important to female mate choice for male Brown Anoles, Anolis sagrei. I tested the hypotheses that female A. sagrei prefer males with greater physiological capacities, and prefer higher quality territories, regardless of male phenotype. To test these, male A. sagrei were first rated for endurance and then used in mismatched-pair female mate choice trials. Preference was scored as the amount of time the female spent actively engaging a male. Male activity level was also scored. Blood glucose levels were measured before and after the endurance tests, and before and after the mate choice trials. Finally, levels of stored glycogen were measured in leg muscle and liver samples collected after a mate choice trial. In 11 of 15 trials, the female spent more time with the male with the higher endurance score, and females preferred males with lower liver glycogen levels. Second, females were given a choice between a male in a territory supplemented with plants, and a size-matched male in a bare territory. Females spent more time with one of the two males, regardless of territory quality. These results suggest that female A. sagrei exhibit preferences for male traits regardless of territory quality.


anoles, Anolis sagrei, physiology, territory quality, female mate choice

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