Male Colobus vellerosus compete intensely for access to females, which sometimes leads to mortal wounding. Yet, males often form cooperative relationships to overtake prime-aged males and immigrate into bisexual groups. We investigated the factors that predicted the presence of coalitions and affiliative relationships among males in this species. Interactions among males in 292 dyads from six groups were examined from 2004 to 2010 at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. Affiliation rates among males were higher and aggression rates lower when one or both males in the dyad were subadult, compared to adult male dyads. Affiliation rates tended to be higher among males that were kin but no other aspect of male relationships predicted affiliation. Coalitions among males were rarely observed and primarily occurred in the context of joint defense against extra-group males (93.5% of events). Adult males were more likely to provide coalitionary support than subadults and coalitions occurred significantly more often when both males were high ranking, since these males probably benefited most in terms of reproductive success from excluding extra-group males. Rank-changing and leveling coalitions among low-ranking males appear to be quite rare or absent in C. vellerosus. The costs of these types of coalitions may be too high or male group size too small on average for these types of coalitions to have been selected for. The overall low rates of affiliation and coalitions among male C. vellerosus are likely influenced by male-biased dispersal and the high level of male-male competition.
Male relationships in most species of mammals generally are characterized by intense intrasexual competition, with little bonding among unrelated individuals. In contrast human societies are characterized by high levels of cooperation and strong bonds among both related and unrelated males. The emergence of cooperative male-male relationships has been linked to the multilevel structure of traditional human societies. Based on an analysis of the patterns of spatial and social interaction in combination with genetic relatedness data of wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio). we show that this species exhibits a multilevel social organization in which males maintain strong bonds and are highly tolerant of each other. Several "units" of males with their associated females form "parties," which team up as "gangs." Several gangs of the same "community" use the same home range. Males formed strong bonds predominantly within parties; however, these bonds were not correlated with genetic relatedness. Agonistic interactions were relatively rare and were restricted to a few dyads. Although the social organization of Guinea baboons resembles that of hamadryas baboons, we found stronger male-male affiliation and more elaborate greeting rituals among male Guinea baboons and less aggression toward females. Thus, the social relationships of male Guinea baboons differ markedly from those of other members of the genus, adding valuable comparative data to test hypotheses regarding social evolution. We suggest that this species constitutes an intriguing model to study the predictors and fitness benefits of male bonds, thus contributing to a better understanding of the evolution of this important facet of human social behavior.
Androgen levels show strong patterns throughout the year in male vertebrates and play an important role in the seasonal modulation of the frequency, intensity and persistence of aggression. The Challenge Hypothesis (Wingfield, J.C., Hegner, R.E., Dufty, A.M., Ball, G.F., 1990. The “Challenge Hypothesis”: Theoretical implications for patterns of testosterone secretion, mating systems, and breeding strategies. Am. Nat. 136, 829-846) predicts that seasonal patterns in androgen levels vary as a function of mating system, male–male aggression and paternal care. Although many studies have addressed these predictions, investigators have often assumed that the ratio of the breeding season maximum and breeding baseline concentrations (termed “androgen responsiveness”) reflects hormonal responses due to social stimulation. However, increasing evidence suggests that seasonal androgen elevations are not necessarily caused by social interactions between males. Here, we separate the seasonal androgen response (R ) and the androgen responsiveness to male–male competition (R ) to begin to distinguish between different kinds of hormonal responses. We demonstrate that R and R are fundamentally different and should be treated as separate variables. Differences are particularly evident in single-brooded male birds that show no increase in plasma androgen levels during simulated territorial intrusions (STIs), even though R is elevated. In multiple-brooded species, STIs typically elicit a rise in androgens. We relate these findings to the natural history of single- and multiple-brooded species and suggest a research approach that could be utilized to increase our understanding of the factors that determine different types of androgen responses. This approach does not only include R and R , but also the androgen responsiveness to receptive females (R ) and to non-social environmental cues (R ), as well as the physiological capacity to produce and secrete androgens (R ). Through such studies, we can begin to better understand how social and environmental factors may lead to differences in androgen responses.
Animal weaponry has long captured the imagination of researchers and these weapons are frequently exaggerated in size. Large weapons are particularly common in species in which males defend females from potential rivals and sexual selection is generally credited with driving this pattern of exaggeration. Male New Zealand sheet-web spiders, (Araneae: Desidae), possess chelicerae (jaws) that are substantially larger than those of female conspecifics. To investigate whether chelicerae exaggeration is selected for in the context of male–male competition, we staged contests between males and analysed how different components of resource-holding potential influenced the outcomes and durations of contests. We found that while males with large chelicerae were more likely to win contests, body condition and body size were better predictors of contest outcome. While contest durations were highly variable, there is some evidence that males make decisions about when to retreat from contests using self-assessment. As a result, only very large males are likely to reach the most escalated phase of fighting in which they lock chelicerae with their opponent. In this way, regardless of whether extra-long chelicerae impart any advantage over similarly sized opponents, exaggerated chelicerae are only used by especially large males and are therefore of little use to small males.
Biologists are still discovering diverse and powerful ways sexual conflicts shape biodiversity. The present study examines how the proportion of females in a population that exhibit male mimicry, a mating resistance trait, influences conspecific males’ behavior, condition, and survival. Like most female‐polymorphic damselflies, Ischnura ramburii harbors both “andromorph” females, which closely resemble males, and sexually dimorphic “gynomorph” counterparts. There is evidence that male mimicry helps andromorphs evade detection and harassment, but males can also learn to target locally prevalent morph(s) via prior mate encounters. I hypothesized that the presence of male mimics could therefore predispose males to mate recognition errors, and thereby increase rates of costly male‐male interactions. Consistent with this hypothesis, male‐male interaction rates were highest in mesocosms containing more andromorph (vs. gynomorph) females. Males in andromorph‐biased mesocosms also had lower final body mass and higher mortality than males assigned to gynomorph‐majority treatments. Male survival and body mass were each negatively affected by mesocosm density, and mortality data revealed a marginally significant interaction between andromorph frequency and population density. These findings suggest that, under sufficiently crowded conditions, female mating resistance traits such as male mimicry could have pronounced indirect effects on male behavior, condition, and survival.
Reproductive males face a trade-off between expenditure on precopulatory male—male competition—increasing the number of females that they secure as mates—and sperm competition—increasing their fertilization success with those females. Previous sperm allocation models have focused on scramble competition in which males compete by searching for mates and the number of matings rises linearly with precopulatory expenditure. However, recent studies have emphasized contest competition involving precopulatory expenditure on armaments, where winning contests may be highly dependent on marginal increases in relative armament level. Here, we develop a general model of sperm allocation that allows us to examine the effect of all forms of precopulatory competition on sperm allocation patterns. The model predicts that sperm allocation decreases if either the "mate-competition loading," a, or the number of males competing for each mating, M, increases. Other predictions remain unchanged from previous models: (i) expenditure per ejaculate should increase and then decrease, and (ii) total postcopulatory expenditure should increase, as the level of sperm competition increases. A negative correlation between a and M is biologically plausible, and may buffer deviations from the previous models. There is some support for our predictions from comparative analyses across dung beetle species and frog populations.
Intense male—male competition driven by high male density during mating can result in the evolution of alternative mating tactics that increase male fertilization success. The effects of alternative male mating tactics on females can range from increased fertilization and genetic benefits to decreased fertilization and loss of paternal care. However, the influence of male competitive behavior and alternative mating tactics on female behavior and reproductive success has seldom been addressed. In this work, I investigated the occurrence of alternative male mating tactics and their potential influence on female behavior and fertilization success in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Groups of one, two, or four males competed for access to a female in a repeated-measures experiment. Male density had a significant influence on female reproductive output as a result of a change in competitive mode from contest to scramble competition that coincided with more disruption during mating when more than one male attempted to mate. By contrast, sneaking during mating was beneficial to males, as more than one male sired offspring in most spawnings involving sneaker males. These results suggest that there may be conflict between males and females over mating, such that females are detrimentally affected by the occurrence of alternative mating tactics, whereas males may benefit from sneak mating. The occurrence of conflict between the sexes can be related to ecological factors, such as male density, which cause behavioral change in both males and females.
Summary Male hypogonadism is a clinical syndrome that results from failure to produce physiological concentrations of testosterone, normal amounts of sperm, or both. Hypogonadism may arise from testicular disease (primary hypogonadism) or dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary unit (secondary hypogonadism). Clinical presentations vary dependent on the time of onset of androgen deficiency, whether the defect is in testosterone production or spermatogenesis, associated genetic factors, or history of androgen therapy. The clinical diagnosis of hypogonadism is made on the basis of signs and symptoms consistent with androgen deficiency and low morning testosterone concentrations in serum on multiple occasions. Several testosterone-replacement therapies are approved for treatment and should be selected according to the patient's preference, cost, availability, and formulation-specific properties. Contraindications to testosterone-replacement therapy include prostate and breast cancers, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, severe lower-urinary-tract symptoms, and erythrocytosis. Treatment should be monitored for benefits and adverse effects.
Sperm function generally declines with male age. Paradoxically, females of many species still choose to mate with old males rather than young males. Females choosing old mates may suffer reduced fertilization rates and an increased incidence of birth defects in offspring, lowering fitness which may in turn lead to conflict between the sexes. This apparent paradox has generated much interest from theorists, but whether this paradox presents in nature remains equivocal. Empirical studies have found mixed support for both a decline in fertility with male age and age-based female mate preference. Here, we examine recent evidence for this paradox, identify confounding variables, highlight areas that deserve further investigation, and suggest avenues for future research.
One of the basic principles of sexual selection is that male reproductive success should be skewed towards strong males in species with anisogamous sex. Studies on primate multi-male groups, however, suggest that other factors than male fighting ability might also affect male reproductive success. The proximate mechanisms leading to paternity in multi-male primate groups still remain largely unknown since in most primate studies mating rather than reproductive success is measured. Furthermore, little research focuses on a female's fertile phase. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative importance of male monopolisation and female direct mate choice for paternity determination. We also investigated the extent to which paternity was decided post-copulatory, i.e. within the female reproductive tract. We used a combined approach of behavioural observations with faecal hormone and genetic analysis for assessment of female cycle stage and paternity, respectively. The study was carried out on a group of wild long-tailed macaques living around the Ketambe Research Station, Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia. Our results suggest that both male monopolisation and post-copulatory mechanisms are the main determinants of male reproductive success, whereas female direct mate choice and alternative male reproductive strategies appear to be of little importance in this respect. Female cooperation may, however, have facilitated male monopolisation. Since paternity was restricted to alpha and beta males even when females mated with several males during the fertile phase, it seems that not only male monopolisation but also post-copulatory mechanisms may operate in favour of high-ranking males in long-tailed macaques, thus reinforcing the reproductive skew in this species.