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
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 (FT110100505 and DP150103595 to A.P. and DE120102323 to K.D.); and Monash University (to S.N.).