TitleValidation of Bateman's principles: a genetic study of sexual selection and mating patterns in the rough-skinned newt
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsJones, AG, Arguello, JR, Arnold, SJ
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
KeywordsBateman gradient mating system microsatellites paternity parentage sexual selection potential reproductive rates taricha-granulosa mate choice success variance opportunity evolution pipefish behavior systems

Few studies have influenced thought on the nature of sexual selection to the extent of the classic paper of A. J. Bateman on mating patterns in Drosophila. However, interpretation of his study remains controversial, and a lack of modern empirical evidence prevents a consensus with respect to the perceived utility of Bateman's principles in the study of sexual selection. Here, we use a genetic study of natural mating patterns in the rough-skinned newt, Taricha granulosa, to investigate the concordance between Bateman's principles and the intensity of sexual selection. We found that males experienced strong sexual selection on tail height and body size, while sexual selection was undetectable in females. This direct quantification of sexual selection agreed perfectly with inferences that are based on Bateman's principles. Specifically, males (in comparison with females) exhibited greater standardized variances in reproductive and mating success, as well as a stronger relationship between mating success and reproductive success. Overall, our results illustrate that Bateman's principles provide the only quantitative measures of the mating system with explicit connections to formal selection theory and should be the central focus of studies of mating patterns in natural populations.