Females across many taxa may mate with several males or mate more than once with the same male within one reproductive event. Although many researchers have discussed the effects of multiple mating on reproductive success of females, few studies have attempted to disentangle whether the reproductive success of females differs with respect to whether females mate with multiple males or mate more than once with one male. In this study, we hypothesized that female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) increase aspects of their reproductive success, such as fecundity, fertility and relative clutch mass, by mating more than once within one reproductive event, either by mating repeatedly with the same male or multiply mating with different males. We controlled for the potentially confounding variables of mating frequency and mate number by allowing females to mate once with one male, twice with the same male, or twice with two different males. We found that females that mated with more than one male laid more clutches, exhibited increased egg fertility and invested more in clutches relative to females that mated only once with one male, whereas females that mated twice to the same male were intermediate for these variables. Thus, reproductive success is higher among female leopard geckos that mated with more than one male compared to female leopard geckos that mated only once.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology