No fitness benefits of early molt in a fairy-wren: relaxed sexual selection under genetic monogamy?
Marie Fan, Michelle L Hall, Sjouke A Kingma, Lisa M Mandeltort, Nataly Hidalgo Aranzamendi, Kaspar Delhey, Anne Peters
BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY | OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC | Published : 2017
The evolution of male ornamentation has long been the focus of sexual selection studies. However, evidence is accumulating that sexually selected traits can also be lost, although the process is ill-understood. In male fairy-wrens (Malurus spp.), early molt into the seasonal breeding plumage is critical for obtaining extra-pair paternity (EPP), which reaches very high levels in these socially monogamous songbirds. A notable exception is the purple-crowned fairy-wren, Malurus coronatus, which, like its congeners, breeds cooperatively, but where EPP is very rare. Nevertheless, males develop a conspicuous seasonal breeding plumage at highly variable times. Based on 6 years of molt data collecte..View full abstract
Awarded by Australian Research Council
This work was supported by a Minerva Fellowship of the Max Planck Society (to A.P.); the Australian Research Council (FT 110100505 to A.P. and DE 120102323 to K.D.) and the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment - Equity Trustees Charitable Foundation (to M.F.).