Benefit to Male Sailfin Mollies of Mating with Heterospecific Females

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Abstract

Female gynogens reproduce clonally but rely on sperm from heterospecific males to initiate embryogenesis.It has been assumed that males gain no benefit from such matings; thus, selection should favor males that avoid them. Here it is shown that males gain a benefit by mating with female gynogens in an asexual-sexual complex of fish. The sexual females increase their preference for males whom they observe consorting with female gynogens. Thus, gynogenetic species might persist because selection favors males to be sexually parasitized.

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