Intense competition for access to females can lead to males exploiting different components of sexual selection, and result in the evolution of alternative mating strategies (AMSs). Males of Poecilia parae, a colour polymorphic fish, exhibit five distinct phenotypes: drab-coloured (immaculata), striped (parae), structural-coloured (blue) and carotenoid-based red and yellow morphs. Previous work indicates that immaculata males employ a sneaker strategy, whereas the red and yellow morphs exploit female preferences for carotenoid-based colours. Mating strategies favouring the maintenance of the other morphs remain to be determined. Here, we report the role of agonistic male-male interactions in influencing female mating preferences and male mating success, and in facilitating the evolution of AMSs.
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