The maintenance of a colour pattern polymorphism with sex-specific fitness consequences in an Australian skink

2020-05-21T03:37:00Z (GMT) by GENEVIEVE DANAE MATTHEWS
Males and females often have different needs, resulting in differential expression of the same trait. This thesis presents a model to measure the reduction in fitness during the evolution of sexual dimorphism in males and females, finding that this varies broadly. The thesis also uses a presence/absence stripe that varies in males and females of an Australian lizard to test ecological and genetic factors influencing the maintenance of variation using models and experimental data. The stripe inheritance mechanism may depend on many genes rather than a few, and its function is a combination of thermoregulation and camouflage from bird predators.