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Female song attracts males in the alpine accentor Prunella collaris.

Langmore, N. E. and Davies, N. B. and Hatchwell, B. J. and Hartley, Ian R. (1996) Female song attracts males in the alpine accentor Prunella collaris. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, 263 (1367). pp. 141-146. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

In the Pyrenees, alpine accentors bred in polygynandrous groups of up to four males and four females. Complex songs were produced by females as well as males. Females sang only during their fertile period, and they sang at a greater rate when alone than when they were accompanied by one or more mateguarding males. Female songs elicited approaches from males, but not from other females, and females often solicited copulations as soon as the male arrived. Playbacks showed that males respond differently to, and hence distinguish between, male and female songs. This study provides the first evidence that female song in birds attracts males and we suggest that it has evolved in alpine accentors because both sexes compete intensively for mates in the polygynandrous groups. Female song may advertise quality as well as receptivity for mating because older females, which laid larger clutches, sang more complex songs. We show that female song not only attracts mates but may also provide females with a mechanism for sharing mating access among several males, so females obtain maximum paternal care for their offspring.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > School of Computing & Communications
Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 22076
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2009 15:27
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:55
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22076

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