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Testosterone, cuckoldry risk and extra-pair opportunities in the Seychelles warbler

van de Crommenacker, J; Richardson, David LU ; Groothuis, TGG; Eising, CM; Dekker, AL and Komdeur, J (2004) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 271(1543). p.1023-1031
Abstract
In male birds, testosterone (T) plays an important role in aggressive and mate-attraction behaviour. In the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis, extra-group copulations (EGCs) occur frequently, but are not accompanied by sexual courtship displays as in within-pair copulations. Paternity is nearly always gained by primary males. We investigated whether T levels and sperm storage capability (cloacal protuberance (CP)) in adult primary and subordinate males were related to timing of egg laying, levels of cuckoldry and extra-group paternity (EGP) opportunities. During the sexually active period before egg laying, T levels and CP were only elevated or enlarged (respectively) in primary males, and some suggestion... (More)
In male birds, testosterone (T) plays an important role in aggressive and mate-attraction behaviour. In the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis, extra-group copulations (EGCs) occur frequently, but are not accompanied by sexual courtship displays as in within-pair copulations. Paternity is nearly always gained by primary males. We investigated whether T levels and sperm storage capability (cloacal protuberance (CP)) in adult primary and subordinate males were related to timing of egg laying, levels of cuckoldry and extra-group paternity (EGP) opportunities. During the sexually active period before egg laying, T levels and CP were only elevated or enlarged (respectively) in primary males, and some suggestion was found that subordinate males do not invest in elevated T levels. The peak in T occurred during the fertile period of the female partner and corresponded to the peak period of male sexual displays and mate guarding, but was independent of cuckoldry risk (density of neighbouring primary males). CP was also enhanced during this period; however, CP but not T remained elevated after egg laying by their mates, and CP but not T was positively related to EGP opportunities (density of neighbouring fertile females). We conclude that T is involved in sexual courtship displays and mate guarding, but not in gaining EGCs. These findings contrast with those in other species where EGP involves elaborate sexual displays. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sperm storage, testosterone, Seychelles warbler, paternity, status, cooperative breeding
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
271
issue
1543
pages
1023 - 1031
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:15293855
  • wos:000221476900005
  • scopus:2442682671
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2004.2697
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f5a8b60e-4564-4918-8156-14c78d1d6f2a (old id 277474)
date added to LUP
2007-11-04 08:19:10
date last changed
2017-05-21 04:26:41
@article{f5a8b60e-4564-4918-8156-14c78d1d6f2a,
  abstract     = {In male birds, testosterone (T) plays an important role in aggressive and mate-attraction behaviour. In the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis, extra-group copulations (EGCs) occur frequently, but are not accompanied by sexual courtship displays as in within-pair copulations. Paternity is nearly always gained by primary males. We investigated whether T levels and sperm storage capability (cloacal protuberance (CP)) in adult primary and subordinate males were related to timing of egg laying, levels of cuckoldry and extra-group paternity (EGP) opportunities. During the sexually active period before egg laying, T levels and CP were only elevated or enlarged (respectively) in primary males, and some suggestion was found that subordinate males do not invest in elevated T levels. The peak in T occurred during the fertile period of the female partner and corresponded to the peak period of male sexual displays and mate guarding, but was independent of cuckoldry risk (density of neighbouring primary males). CP was also enhanced during this period; however, CP but not T remained elevated after egg laying by their mates, and CP but not T was positively related to EGP opportunities (density of neighbouring fertile females). We conclude that T is involved in sexual courtship displays and mate guarding, but not in gaining EGCs. These findings contrast with those in other species where EGP involves elaborate sexual displays.},
  author       = {van de Crommenacker, J and Richardson, David and Groothuis, TGG and Eising, CM and Dekker, AL and Komdeur, J},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  keyword      = {sperm storage,testosterone,Seychelles warbler,paternity,status,cooperative breeding},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1543},
  pages        = {1023--1031},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Testosterone, cuckoldry risk and extra-pair opportunities in the Seychelles warbler},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2004.2697},
  volume       = {271},
  year         = {2004},
}