Sexual Selection

1st Edition

Perspectives and Models from the Neotropics

Print ISBN: 9780124160286
eBook ISBN: 9780123914569
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st October 2013
Page Count: 466
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Sexual Selection: Perspectives and Models from the Neotropics presents new sexual selection research based upon neotropical species. As neotropical regions are destroyed at an alarming rate, with an estimated 140 species of rainforest plants and animals going extinct every day, it is important to bring neotropical research to the fore now.

Sexual selection occurs when the male or female of a species is attracted by certain characteristics such as form, color or behavior. When those features lead to a greater probability of successful mating, they become more prominent in the species. Although most theoretical concepts concerning sexual selection and reproductive strategies are based upon North American and European fauna, the Neotropical region encompasses much more biodiversity, with as many as 15,000 plant and animal species in a single acre of rain forest.

This book illustrates concepts in sexual selection through themes ranging from female cryptic choice in insects, sexual conflict in fish, interaction between sexual selection and the immune system, nuptial gifts, visual and acoustic sexual signaling, parental investment, to alternative mating strategies, among others. These approaches distinguish Sexual Selection from current publications in sexual selection, mainly because of the latitudinal and taxonomic focus, so that readers will be introduced to systems mostly unknown outside the tropics, several of which bring into question some well-established patterns for temperate regions.

Key Features

  • Synthesizes sexual selection research on species from the Neotropics
  • Combines different perspectives and levels of analysis using a broad taxonomic basis, introducing readers to systems mostly unknown outside the tropics and bringing into question well-established patterns for temperate regions
  • Includes contributions exploring concepts and theory as well as discussions on a variety of Neotropical vertebrates and invertebrates, such as insects, fish, arthropods and birds


Researchers in ethology; evolutionary, behavioral and ecological biology and ecology; as well as advanced undergraduate/graduate students in these areas

Table of Contents





Chapter 1. Macroecology of Sexual Selection: Large-Scale Influence of Climate on Sexually Selected Traits




Defining the Neotropics

Climatic Regions

How Much do We Know About the Influence of Sexual Selection in Each Environment?

Macroecology of Sexual Traits

Animal Functional Groups to Test Predictions on Sexual Selection

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 2. Sexual Selection in Neotropical Species: Rules and Exceptions




Interactive Link Between Rules And Exceptions

An Example from the Neotropics: Scorpion Sexual Biology

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 3. Secondary Sexual Traits, Immune Response, Parasites, and Pathogens: The Importance of Studying Neotropical Insects




Sexual Selection: Hamilton and Zuk’s Hypothesis

The Immune System of Insects

Ecoimmunology: Costs of the Immune Response and Biotic and Abiotic Factors That Facilitate Its Variation

Signaling of the Immune Response Through Secondary Sexual Traits in Insects

Mechanisms Behind the Immune Response and Sexual Signals Relationship

Interaction Between Sexual Traits, Immunity, and the Effect of Parasites and Pathogens


Chapter 4. Territorial Mating Systems in Butterflies: What We Know and What Neotropical Species Can Show



What are the Original Concepts for Territorial Mating Systems?

What has been Confirmed for Butterflies, and in which Parts of the Globe?

What do we Suggest after Looking at the Accumulated Knowledge?

Where should more Territorial Species Occur?

What do we need t


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"We are left convinced of the important place of the neotropics in sexual selection theory."--The Quarterly Review of Biology, Sexual Selection