The preference of female blue tits, Parus caeruleus, is correlated with the brightness of the ultraviolet (UV) crest; there is also assortative mating with respect to the crest's UV/violet chroma. However, manipulation of plumage reflectance is necessary to infer a direct causal link between UV plumage and mate choice. We gave both male and female blue tits a choice between a W-reflecting ('UV+') partner and a partner whose UV plumage reflectance had been removed ('UV-'). Male blue tits significantly preferred UV+ females. Similarly, female blue tits tended to prefer UV-reflecting males, but their UV+ preferences were nonsignificant. Neither sex showed a preference when conspecifics were replaced by a heterospecific. This study suggests mutual mate choice but male choice may be more strongly influenced by the visual appearance of potential mates. This is one of a few studies to show male mate preferences and the first demonstration of a direct relationship between UV reflectance and;male mate choice. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.