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The hotshot hypothesis

While the preference model suggests that females are biased towards aggregated males in general, the hotshot model proposes that females show a preference for particular individual males (Young 2009). The theory claims that leks form as aggregations of inferior males around the preferred “hotshots” in attempts to increase their successes in attracting females by intercepting the females attracted to the hotshot. This theory leads to the logical prediction that preferred males should display in central territories with inferior males aggregated about them (Young 2009).

Lake Malawi Cichlids
Lake Malawi Cichlids



A study performed in Africa by Kyle Young followed the behavior of a species of bower -building cichlid fish, Nyassachromis cf. microcephalus (Young 2009). Male bowers are volcano-shaped nests that males defend and territorialize in their courtship of passing females. This species is native to Lake Malawi, Africa, and demonstrates many characteristics that suit it for studying lek behavior. The male cichlids build bowers that are easily quantified in size and their reproductive behaviors are easily assigned cost and benefit figures. Additionally, researchers can easily study female choice, as males of this species do not actively pursue females but rather court them as they pass the males’ bowers. Variation in courtship rates is therefore a result of female, rather than male, choice because the males play no role in the coordination of a partnership. Finally, the series of mating behaviors in this species relies first on indirect female choice, in swimming past a male’s bower, then on direct female choice, as the female assesses the pursuing male and his bower and determines whether to proceed with the mating process (Young 2009).

Researchers followed three different leks for one week during peak mating season, documenting every instance of a male beginning courtship with a female, acting out of aggression toward a male of the same species, acting aggressively toward a male of a different species, building his bower, and engaging in foraging behavior. The researchers then created a correlation matrix relating the position and size of the bower, male behaviors, and female interest.

Five graphs showing courtship, conspecific attack, heterospecific attack, bower-building, or foraging behaviors as a function of lek size.
Results showing courtship, conspecific attack, heterospecific attack, bower-building, and foraging behaviors as a function of lek size Young 2009

The results of the study, however, did not show support for the hotshot hypothesis. Researchers determined a negative correlation between conspecific attack rate and bower location, which suggests that there is, in fact, an added cost that the hotshots must bear to hold the central lek territory, but this did not affect their encounter rate with females (Young 2009). In other words, lek position, bower size, and attack rate had no correlation to courtship initiation by females. Additionally, none of these factors correlated significantly with the reproductive success of the cichlid males either. In further evidence against the hotshot theory, once courted, females did not show any direct preferential selection for males holding territories in the center of the lek.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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