Song and female choice for extrapair copulations in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Marshall, Rupert C., Buchanan, Katherine L. and Catchpole, Clive 2007, Song and female choice for extrapair copulations in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Animal behaviour, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 629-635.

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Title Song and female choice for extrapair copulations in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Formatted title Song and female choice for extrapair copulations in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Author(s) Marshall, Rupert C.
Buchanan, Katherine L.
Catchpole, Clive
Journal name Animal behaviour
Volume number 73
Issue number 4
Start page 629
End page 635
Publisher Baillière, Tindall and Cassell [etc.].
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007-04
ISSN 0003-3472
1095-8282
Keyword(s) acrocephalus schoenobaenus
extrapair copulation
female choice
sedge warbler
song repertoire
Summary Although 90% of passerine birds live in socially monogamous pair bonds, molecular studies have revealed that genetic polygamy occurs in 86% of surveyed passerines, because individuals engage in copulations outside the pair bond (extrapair copulations; EPCs). Most explanations for the occurrence of EPCs involve female gaining indirect benefits from the extrapair male. The sedge warbler is a socially monogamous species in which some offspring result from EPCs (8% in this study). Complex song is a sexually selected male trait used by females which select mates based on a variety of male qualities. We used microsatellite DNA profiling to detect extrapair young and assign paternity. ‘Good genes’ theory predicts that females should engage in EPCs with males of higher quality than their social mate, with resulting fitness benefits. Extrapair males had smaller song repertoires and smaller territories than the social mate. This apparent preference for small-repertoire males as extrapair mates conflicts with the predictions from previous studies of this species. Sudden cessation of song after pairing may mean that song cues are unavailable for later extrapair matings and females may switch to other cues. Such behaviour may lead to different patterns of female choice during social and extrapair mating in the sedge warbler. We conclude that multiple reasons underlie patterns of female choice in this species.
Language eng
Field of Research 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018523

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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