Factors of Female Aggression in a Polygynous Mating System



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When ecological and genetic success is defined by the number of offspring left behind, mating systems that allow for the maximum number of offspring tend to arise. Within these mating systems, aggression often arises to further increase individual mating success. Polygyny is one such mating system where aggression can alter the amount of individual reproductive success. While an extensive body of literature exists on male aggression in polygynous mating systems, it is not commonly thought that female aggression has as crucial a role in mating systems. In this study, I staged intrasexual aggression encounters in Metriaclima greshakei a polygynous cichlid, in order to evaluate the level of aggression demonstrated by females and how it could potentially alter the mating system of this species. By manipulating the presence of two resources, a hiding spot and a male, I concluded that there was a high possibility for female aggression to influence the mating system of M. greshakei.



polygyny, fish, cichlid, aggression