Precopulatory Reproductive Strategies


The quality and number of young produced by an organism contribute to the spread of its genes, and thus its evolutionary performance depends crucially on its reproductive success. Precopulatory reproductive strategies are the first step towards such success.

Keywords: copulation success; female choice; male competition; sex role reversal; sexual selection


Andersson M (1982) Female choice selects for extreme tail length in a widowbird. Nature 299: 818–820.

David P, Bjorksten T, Fowler K and Pomiankowski A (2000) Condition‐dependent signalling of genetic variation in stalk‐eyes flies. Nature 406: 186–188.

Davies NB (1992) Dunnock Behaviour and Social Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Double M and Cockburn A (2000) Pre‐dawn infidelity: females control extra‐pair mating in superb fairy‐wrens. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 267: 465–470.

Fu P, Neff BD and Gross MR (2001) Tactic‐specific success in sperm competition. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 268: 1105–1112.

Gwynne DT (1981) Sexual difference theory: Mormon crickets show role reversal in mate choice. Science 213: 779–780.

Hall JC (1994) The mating of the fly. Science 264: 1702–1704.

Pizzari T (2001) Indirect female choice through manipulation of male behaviour by female fowl, Gallus g. domesticus. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences 268: 181–186.

Proctor HC (1991) Courtship in the water mite Neumania papillator: males capitalize on female adaptations for predation. Animal Behaviour 42: 589–598.

Semler DE (1971) Some aspects of adaptations in a polymorphism for breeding colours in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Journal of Zoology, London 165: 291–302.

Wilkinson GS, Presgraves DC and Crymes L (1998) Male eye span in stalk‐eyed flies indicates genetic quality by meiotic drive suppression. Nature 391: 276–279.

Further Reading

Alcock J (1998) Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach, 6th edn. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.

Andersson M (1994) Sexual Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Arnqvist G and Nilsson T (2000) The evolution of polyandry: multiple mating and female fitness in insects. Animal Behaviour 60: 145–164.

Clutton‐Brock TH and Parker GA (1995) Sexual coercion in animal societies. Animal Behaviour 49: 1345–1365.

Darwin C (1871) The Descent of Man: Selection in Relation to Sex. London: Murray.

Holland B and Rice WR (1998) Chase‐away sexual selection: antagonistic seduction versus resistance. Evolution 52: 1–7.

Trivers RL (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. Campbell B Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, pp. 136–179. Chicago: Aldine.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Pizzari, Tommaso(Jul 2003) Precopulatory Reproductive Strategies. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003663]