Title
Relationships between hormones, physiological performance and immunocompetence in a color-polymorphic lizard species, **Podarcis melisellensis** Relationships between hormones, physiological performance and immunocompetence in a color-polymorphic lizard species, **Podarcis melisellensis**
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
New York ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Hormones and behavior. - New York
Volume/pages
55(2009) :4 , p. 488-494
ISSN
0018-506X
ISI
000265342300005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Species with alternative phenotypes offer unique opportunities to investigate hormonebehavior relationships. We investigated the relationships between testosterone, corticosterone, morphology, performance, and immunity in a population of lizards (Podarcis melisellensis) which exhibits a color polymorphism. Males occur in three different color morphs (white, yellow, orange), providing an opportunity to test the idea of morphs being alternative solutions to the evolutionary challenges posed on the link between hormones, morphology, performance, and immunity. Morphs differed in bite force capacity, with orange males biting harder, and in corticosterone levels, with yellow males having lower levels than orange. However, morphs did not differ in testosterone levels or in the immunological parameters tested. At the individual level, across morphs, testosterone levels predicted size-corrected bite force capacity, but no relation was found between hormone levels and immunity. Our results do not support the testosterone-based polymorphism hypothesis and reject the hypothesis of a trade-off between testosterone and immunity in this species, but provide a mechanistic link between testosterone and a sexually selected performance trait.
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