The Coolidge Effect

Coolidge effect is described the decline of copulations of males with the same females due to introduction of novel females (Wilson et al. 1963; Dewsbury, 1981, Steiger et al, 2008). The Coolidge effect can be seen in the sperm distribution of chickens, the sperm count will be greater when paired with a new females (Dixson, 2015). The Coolidge effect was first observed in rats (Beach & Jordan, 1956) and includes birds (Pizzari et al. 2003), bees (Barrows, 1975), amphibians (Donovan & Verrell, 1991), reptiles (Tokarz, 1992), beetles (Arnaud & Haubruge, 1999), and fish (Kelley et al. 1999).

Dixson (2015) argues that the Coolidge effect likely occurs in Mandrills. The dominant male mandrill will often mate guard after copulating with females. However when a novel female arrives and reaches maximum swellings the male will stop mate guarding the same females in order to mate with the novel female (Dixson, 2015). Dixson (2015) argues that in order to fully investigate the possibility of the Coolidge effect in primates we must investigate if there is an allocation of sperm made by primates. Behaviorally when males become more sexually aroused with novel females may lead to more sperm during ejaculation (Dixson, 2015).


Work Cited

Arnaud L, Haubruge E. (1999). Mating behaviour and male mate choice in Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) Behaviour. 136:67–77. doi:10.1163/156853999500677

Barrows E.M, Bell W.J, Michener C.D. (1975). Individual odor differences and their social function in insects. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA.2824–2828. doi:10.1073/pnas.72.7.2824

Beach F.A, Jordan L. (1956). Sexual exhaustion and recovery in the male rat. Quart. J. Exp. Psychol ;8:121–133. doi:10.1080/17470215608416811

Donovan A, Verrell P.A. (1991). The effect of partner familiarity on courtship success in the salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus. J. Herpetol. 25:93–95.

Dewsbury D.A (1981). Effects of novelty on copulatory behavior: the Coolidge effect and related phenomena. Psychol. Bull. 1981;89:464–482. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.89.3.464

Dixson, A. (2015). The Mandrill : A Case of Extreme Sexual Selection. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Kelley J.L, Graves J.A, Magurran A.E. (1999). Familiarity breeds contempt in guppies: male guppy fish increase their reproductive success by mating with unfamiliar females. Nature. 401:661–662. doi:10.1038/44314

Pizzari T, Cornwallis C.K, Lovlie H, Jakobsson S, Birkhead T.R. (2003). Sophisticated sperm allocation in male fowl. Nature. 426:70–74. doi:10.1038/nature02004

Tokarz R.R. (1992). Male mating preference for unfamiliar females in the lizard, Anolis sagrei. Anim. Behav.44:843–849. doi:10.1016/S0003-3472(05)80580-9

Wilson J.R, Kuehn R.E, Beach F.A (1963). Modification in sexual behavior of male rats produced by changing stimulus female. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol 56:636–644. doi:10.1037/h0042469


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