Ultraviolet plumage colors predict mate preferences in starlings

Bennett, Andrew T. D., Cuthill, Innes C., Partridge, Julian. C. and Lunau, Klaus 1997, Ultraviolet plumage colors predict mate preferences in starlings, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 94, no. 16, pp. 8618-8621.


Title Ultraviolet plumage colors predict mate preferences in starlings
Author(s) Bennett, Andrew T. D.
Cuthill, Innes C.
Partridge, Julian. C.
Lunau, Klaus
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume number 94
Issue number 16
Start page 8618
End page 8621
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 1997-08-05
ISSN 0027-8424
1091-6490
Summary Avian plumage has long been used to test theories of sexual selection, with humans assessing the colors, However, many birds see in the ultraviolet (<400 nm), to which humans are blind, Consequently, it is important to know whether natural variation in UV reflectance from plumage functions in sexual signaling, We show that female starlings rank males differently when UV wavelengths are present or absent, Principal component analysis of approximate to 1300 reflectance spectra (300-700 nm) taken from sexually dimorphic plumage regions of males predicted preference under the UV+ treatment. Under UV- conditions, females ranked males in a different and nonrandom order, but plumage reflectance in the human visible spectrum did not predict choice, Natural variation in UV reflectance is thus important in avian mate assessment, and the prevailing light environment can have profound effects on observed mating preferences.
Language eng
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©1997, The National Academy of Sciences
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022755

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