Mating pattern in the lizard Anolis sagrei: Implications for mate choice and sperm competition

Richard R. Tokarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study assesses the potential for female mate choice and sperm competition in the highly territorial and polygynous brown anole, Anolis sagrei. I observed free-ranging, marked lizards for a total of 91.2 h at a site in Coral Gables, Florida over a period of 35 days in June and July 1996. I recorded a total of 37 copulations involving five males and nine females. Most females (75%) had more than one mating partner, and this was due almost entirely to females mating with new males that successfully supplanted previous males from their territories. In only one copulation (2.7%) did a female mate with a male that briefly intruded from an adjoining territory. Moreover, no female moved from one male's territory to another male's territory to mate. These findings support the idea that male-male competition for territories is more important than female mate choice based on male phenotypic traits in determining female mating partners; they also suggest that there is a potential for sperm competition in these lizards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998


  • Anolis sagrei
  • Lizard
  • Mate choice
  • Sperm competition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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