Article: article from journal or magazin.
Mating does not influence reproductive investment, in a viviparous lizard.
Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological Genetics and Physiology
Mating is crucial for females that reproduce exclusively sexually and should influence their investment into reproduction. Although reproductive adjustments in response to mate quality have been tested in a wide range of species, the effect of exposure to males and mating per se has seldom been studied. Compensatory mechanisms against the absence of mating may evolve more frequently in viviparous females, which pay higher direct costs of reproduction, due to gestation, than oviparous females. To test the existence of such mechanisms in a viviparous species, we experimentally manipulated the mating opportunity of viviparous female lizard, Lacerta (Zootoca) vivipara. We assessed the effect of mating on ovulation, postpartum body condition and parturition date, as well as on changes in locomotor performances and body temperatures during the breeding cycle. Female lizards ovulated spontaneously and mating had no influence on litter size, locomotor impairment or on selected body temperature. However, offspring production induced a more pronounced locomotor impairment and physical burden than the production of undeveloped eggs. Postpartum body condition and parturition dates were not different among females. This result suggests that gestation length is not determined by an embryonic signal. In the common lizard, viviparity is not associated with facultative ovulation and a control of litter size after ovulation, in response to the absence of mating.
Animals, Body Temperature, Egg Shell, Female, Litter Size, Lizards/physiology, Male, Ovulation, Reproduction/physiology, Sexual Behavior, Animal/physiology, Viviparity, Nonmammalian/physiology
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