Intersexual selection and reproductive success in the pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Some recent sexual selection models predict that female choice in species without paternal care may function to discriminate among males in order to pass ''good genes'' to offspring. Data quantifying the relationship between female mate choice and reproductive success are scarce. In a Swedish population of pheasants females prefer to mate with long-spurred males. Male viability also correlates with male spur length. We used DNA fingerprinting to measure individual pheasants' reproductive success in terms of both hatchlings and surviving offspring. The data show that long-spurred males sired more hatchlings and surviving offspring and also that the females' production of surviving offspring correlated with their mate's spur length. The analyses also indicate that offspring of females who mated with long-spurred males experienced an increased survival rate.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences


  • mating success, offspring fitness, female choice, choice, sexual selection, mate, viability, swallow hirundo-rustica, red jungle fowl, evolution, preferences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-527
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch