Iridescent structurally based coloration of eyespots correlates with mating success in the peacock

Loyau, Adeline, Gomez, Doris, Moureau, Benoît T., Thery, Marc, Hart, Nathan S., Saint Jalme, Michel, Bennett, Andrew T. D. and Sorci, Gabriele 2007, Iridescent structurally based coloration of eyespots correlates with mating success in the peacock, Behavioral ecology, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 1123-1131, doi: 10.1093/beheco/arm088.

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Title Iridescent structurally based coloration of eyespots correlates with mating success in the peacock
Author(s) Loyau, Adeline
Gomez, Doris
Moureau, Benoît T.
Thery, Marc
Hart, Nathan S.
Saint Jalme, Michel
Bennett, Andrew T. D.ORCID iD for Bennett, Andrew T. D.
Sorci, Gabriele
Journal name Behavioral ecology
Volume number 18
Issue number 6
Start page 1123
End page 1131
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-11
ISSN 1045-2249
Summary Gaudy plumage coloration is a widespread ornamental trait in birds and thought to be sexually selected. Although much attention has been devoted to structural coloration reflecting in UV, the signaling function of structural colors lacking UV reflectance and those that exhibit iridescence coloration are poorly documented. The train of the peacock (Pavo cristatus), a classical example of a sexually selected trait, is composed of iridescent structurally colored eyespots not reflecting in UV. Until today, the role played by the structural color of the eyespots in female mate choice has never been investigated using spectrometry. We measured eyespot coloration from a stationary angle (static coloration) and the change in coloration resulting from different angles (iridescent coloration). We assessed coloration with reflectance spectrometry, and we analyzed reflectance spectra using 2 methods. First, we extracted the reflectance spectra shape descriptors hue, brightness, and chroma. Second, we computed color and brightness contrasts signaled by eyespot feathers, taking peafowl color visual sensitivity into account. Iridescence was estimated by the maximal change for all parameters. Brightness was correlated with male mating success. The maximal change in color contrast was correlated with both the frequency of male visitation by females and male mating success. These results suggest that peahens can use both static and dynamic (i.e., iridescent) aspects of plumage structural coloration as signals to detect and choose their mates.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/beheco/arm088
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, The Author
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