SIB News

Becky fuller

In darters, male competition drives evolution of flashy fins and bodies

A new study of orangethroat darters reveals that the males’ ability to recognize their own and other species drives the evolution of their bright display colors.

Scientists once thought that female mate choice alone accounted for the eye-catching color patterns seen in some male fish. But for orangethroat darters, male-to-male competition is the real force behind the flash, a new study finds.

The research, reported in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B, suggests that separate populations of orangethroat darters are evolving differing color patterns as a result of the males’ ability to distinguish their own from other species.

Read the full article at the Illinois News Bureau


Publication Date: 08/27/2018
Photo credits: L. Brian Stauffer
Editor: Diana Yates