In a paper titled The erratic and contingent progression of research on territoriality: a case study (Kamath and Losos 2017, Behav Ecol Sociobiol 71:89), we sought to understand the inconsistency between behavioral and genetic descriptions of Anolis lizards’ mating system. We argued that “a potentially important reason for such inconsistencies is a research trajectory rooted in early studies that were equivocal and overreaching, followed by studies that accepted earlier conclusions at face value and assumed, rather than tested, key ideas about animal mating systems,” and demonstrated such a research trajectory in Anolis lizards. In their responses to our historical review, Bush and Simberloff (2018, Behav Ecol Sociobiol in press) and Stamps (2018, Behav Ecol Sociobiol in press) criticize the definition of territoriality we employed and de-emphasize the link between conceptions of territoriality and descriptions of mating systems in Anolis. Here, we respond by reiterating how our understandings of territoriality and of mating systems in Anolis and other animals have long been intertwined. Moreover, we argue that our definition of territoriality is precisely well suited to investigating mismatches between behavioral and genetic descriptions of mating systems.
- Mating system