Viability, behavior, and color expression in the offspring of matings between common wall lizard Podarcis muralis color morphs

Javier Abalos, Guillem Perez I De Lanuza, Alicia Bartolome, Fabien Aubret, Tobias Uller, Enrique Font

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


    Color polymorphisms are widely studied to identify the mechanisms responsible for the origin and maintenance of phenotypic variability in nature. Two of the mechanisms of balancing selection currently thought to explain the long-term persistence of polymorphisms are the evolution of alternative phenotypic optima through correlational selection on suites of traits including color and heterosis. Both of these mechanisms can generate differences in offspring viability and fitness arising from different morph combinations. Here, we examined the effect of parental morph combination on fertilization success, embryonic viability, newborn quality, antipredator, and foraging behavior, as well as inter-annual survival by conducting controlled matings in a polymorphic lacertid Podarcis muralis, where color morphs are frequently assumed to reflect alternative phenotypic optima (e.g., alternative reproductive strategies). Juveniles were kept in outdoor tubs for a year in order to study inter-annual growth, survival, and morph inheritance. In agreement with a previous genome-wide association analysis, morph frequencies in the year-old juveniles matched the frequencies expected if orange and yellow expressions depended on recessive homozygosity at 2 separate loci. Our findings also agree with previous literature reporting higher reproductive output of heavy females and the higher overall viability of heavy newborn lizards, but we found no evidence for the existence of alternative breeding investment strategies in female morphs, or morph-combination effects on offspring viability and behavior. We conclude that inter-morph breeding remains entirely viable and genetic incompatibilities are of little significance for the maintenance of discrete color morphs in P. muralis from the Pyrenees.

    Sidor (från-till)41-55
    TidskriftCurrent Zoology
    StatusPublished - 2021

    Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

    • Biologiska vetenskaper


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