Female Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) mated with males that harassed them are unlikely to lay fertilized eggs.
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Results of previous studies of courtship and mating in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) suggest that females avoid conspecific males because, while courting and mating, males engage in behaviors that are potentially injurious to females. However, prior experiments provided no direct evidence that females avoided harassing males. Here the authors show that a female quail choosing between a previous sex partner and an unfamiliar male avoids the former if he engaged in relatively many potentially injurious acts while courting and mating, (Experiments 1 and 2) and that males behaving aggressively toward mates are less likely than are gentler males to fertilize the females' eggs (Experiment 3). Male sexual harassment appears to be a tactic both aversive to female quail and relatively ineffective in fertilizing them.
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