Title
Female ornamentation and territorial conflicts in collared flycatchers (N:Ficedula albicollis}) Female ornamentation and territorial conflicts in collared flycatchers (N:Ficedula albicollis})
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Berlin ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Die Naturwissenschaften / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften [München] - Berlin
Volume/pages
95(2008) :10 , p. 993-996
ISSN
0028-1042
ISI
000259737600014
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Female ornaments in species with conventional sex roles often indicate individual quality, but the evolutionary forces maintaining them are less clear. Sexual competition for breeding opportunities may represent an important role for female signals, especially in polygynous species, but there is little experimental evidence for this. The wing patch size (WPS) of female collared flycatchers indicates age and body condition and predicts social mating patterns. We challenged nest-building females with decoy females of varying WPS and found that the aggressive response of residents increased with decoy WPS, suggesting a role for this female ornament in territorial competition. Our results explain why female WPS predicts territorial distances when mated to a polygynous male and indicate that the role of WPS in female competitive interactions is similar to that in males of the same population.
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