Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Alexander Cruz


Recently the tiger limia (Limia sp.) was found to be a separate species from the very similar looking humpback limia (Limia nigrofasciata), even though they had been considered to be the same species at first because of their very similar appearance and occurrence in the same lake, Lake Miragoane, Haiti. These closely related species have evolved opposing mating styles. While humpback limia males perform courtship displays to acquire a mate, tiger limia males obtain mates through coercion (forceful mating without female consent). In this study, I hypothesized that, because courtship requires a greater energy investment than coercion, humpback limia males would allocate more energy to protecting their mate than tiger limia. Additionally, I investigated if aggression was related to size in male-male competition. I found that humpback limia react more aggressively to intruder males than tiger limia, suggesting that humpback limia do indeed allocate more energy to defending their mates than tiger limia, as predicted on the basis of the opposing mating tactics utilized by the two species. When size was compared to aggression, less significant results were found.