Sperm Competition and Cryptic Female Choice in Bats
Pp. 119-147 (29)
C. Ruth Archer, Teri J. Orr and David J. Hosken
Some of the most striking behaviours and characters in nature are the result
of sexual selection, including sexual dimorphism in size, pigmentation, ornamentation
and weaponry. Our understanding of sexual selection is largely based on birds and
insects research and, of the mammals, primates and ungulates. Bats have received
comparatively little attention. Indeed, bats may not appear to be the most obvious
model for studying sexual selection because males lack the exaggerated weaponry seen
in some mammals, and typically lack visually striking ornamental traits. However, bats
are well placed for studying two key aspects of sexual selection, sperm competition and
cryptic female choice. Here we introduce these processes, before explaining why they
may be particularly important in bats. We then review research on sperm competition
and cryptic female choice in bats and highlight the tremendous opportunities to
improve our understanding further by studying the Chiroptera.
Bats, Chiroptera, Cryptic female choice, Sexual conflict, Sexual
selection, Sperm competition.
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Tremough Campus, TR10 9EZ, Penryn, UK.