Data from: Quantitative genetic insights into the coevolutionary dynamics of male and female genitalia

  • Jon Evans (Creator)
  • Emile Van Lieshout (Creator)
  • Clelia Gasparini (Creator)



The spectacular variability that typically characterizes male genital traits has largely been attributed to the role of sexual selection. Among the evolutionary mechanisms proposed to account for this diversity, two processes in particular have generated considerable interest. On the one hand, females may exploit postcopulatory mechanisms of selection to favour males with preferred genital traits (cryptic female choice; CFC), while on the other hand females may evolve structures or behaviours that mitigate the direct costs imposed by male genitalia (sexual conflict; SC). A critical but rarely explored assumption underlying both processes is that male and female reproductive traits coevolve, either via the classic Fisherian model of preference-trait coevolution (CFC) or through sexually antagonistic selection (SC). Here, we provide evidence for this prediction in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a polyandrous livebearing fish in which males transfer sperm internally to females via consensual and forced matings. Our results from a paternal half-sibling breeding design reveal substantial levels of additive genetic variation underlying male genital size and morphology—two traits known to predict mating success during non-consensual matings. Our subsequent finding that physically interacting female genital traits exhibit corresponding levels of genetic (co)variation reveals the potential intersexual coevolutionary dynamics of male and female genitalia, thereby fulfilling a fundamental assumption underlying CFC and SC theory.,QG of male and female genitaliaColumn headings are self-explaining and can be easily connected to main,
Date made available29 May 2013

Cite this