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Re: KillieTalk Digest V3 #71

BizEcology at aol_com wrote:

> Doug writes:
> > But still there's no evolutionary advantage to not being chased.
> Well, there's an advantage to the species in that males do not waste time and
> effort on infertile females.  [snip]  Evolutionary
> brainstorming is fun.

Just make sure to do it well!   In this case the advantage has to be to the
female.  It may be advantageous for the male not to chase infertile females but
that's no reason for the females to evolve since they derive no benefit.

> BTW, in a recent article on wrasses I found cases where subordinate males
> adopt female coloration and will join the dominant male and a real female in
> a spawning dash up the water column.  What look like a male and two females
> is a dominant male, a female, and a suburdinate male looking to sneak his
> sperm into the gene pool without getting killed.
> <<** Larry **>>

In this case the sex switching individual (the subordinate male) does generate a
benefit for the individual.  In the case of the largest female switching sex when
the alpha male dies in wrasses the female goes from getting some reproductive
benefit (mating with alpha male) to getting even more (mating with all the other

Personally, I like Gary's theory that it might just be a sort of hormonal
"menopause" sort of thing.  Unless they become functional males, it's hard to see
how they'd derive any benefit, and thus it wouldn't be adaptive.  Anyway, gotta



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