Journal article

No evidence for an adaptive role of early molt into breeding plumage in a female fairy wren

Sergio Nolazco, Michelle L Hall, Sjouke A Kingma, Kaspar Delhey, Anne Peters

Behavioral Ecology | Oxford University Press | Published : 2020


The evolution of ornaments as sexually selected signals is well understood in males, but female ornamentation remains understudied. Fairy wrens offer an excellent model system, given their complex social structure and mating systems, and the diversity of female ornamentation. We investigated whether early molt into ornamental breeding plumage plays an adaptive role in females of the monogamous purple-crowned fairy wren Malurus coronatus, the only fairy wren known to have female seasonal plumage. Using 6 years of monitoring, we found that the timing of female molt was similar to males, but there was no evidence for assortative mating. Like males (previous study), older and dominant individual..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers