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Exogenous testosterone increase female aggression in the European starling

Sandell, Maria LU (2007) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62(2). p.255-262
Abstract
In the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, optimal mating systems differ between males and females. Males gain from polygyny, whereas monogamy increases female fitness. The cost of polygyny to females lead to intense female–female competition, and it has previously been shown that the intensity of female aggression during the pre-breeding period can predict the realised mating system. The physiological regulation of such female aggression in starlings is not yet known. This study examines the role of testosterone in mediating aggressive behaviours involved in intra-specific reproductive competition in female starlings. Testosterone levels were experimentally elevated with testosterone implants in females during the pre-laying period. To... (More)
In the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, optimal mating systems differ between males and females. Males gain from polygyny, whereas monogamy increases female fitness. The cost of polygyny to females lead to intense female–female competition, and it has previously been shown that the intensity of female aggression during the pre-breeding period can predict the realised mating system. The physiological regulation of such female aggression in starlings is not yet known. This study examines the role of testosterone in mediating aggressive behaviours involved in intra-specific reproductive competition in female starlings. Testosterone levels were experimentally elevated with testosterone implants in females during the pre-laying period. To simulate a situation in which an additional female tried to mate with the focal female’s mate, a caged female was presented close to a nest-site to which the male could attract a secondary female. Testosterone was significantly related to several behaviours involved in female–female interactions. Females with testosterone implants spent significantly more time close to the caged female and produced more song bouts than control females. In contrast, male behaviour was unrelated to the experimental status of the mate. Females mated to males that attracted a secondary female were less aggressive towards the caged female than those that remained monogamously mated. The effect of exogenous testosterone in this study indicates that androgens may mediate social behaviours in female starlings during the breeding season. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Aggression - Female aggression - Hormones - Testosterone - Sexual conflicts - Mating systems - Sturnus vulgaris - Song
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
62
issue
2
pages
255 - 262
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000250832800012
  • scopus:36148976882
ISSN
1432-0762
DOI
10.1007/s00265-007-0460-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7a9a5317-4a6b-4664-ae75-a10cbbd33ef2 (old id 629346)
date added to LUP
2007-11-28 13:04:13
date last changed
2017-09-03 03:55:53
@article{7a9a5317-4a6b-4664-ae75-a10cbbd33ef2,
  abstract     = {In the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, optimal mating systems differ between males and females. Males gain from polygyny, whereas monogamy increases female fitness. The cost of polygyny to females lead to intense female–female competition, and it has previously been shown that the intensity of female aggression during the pre-breeding period can predict the realised mating system. The physiological regulation of such female aggression in starlings is not yet known. This study examines the role of testosterone in mediating aggressive behaviours involved in intra-specific reproductive competition in female starlings. Testosterone levels were experimentally elevated with testosterone implants in females during the pre-laying period. To simulate a situation in which an additional female tried to mate with the focal female’s mate, a caged female was presented close to a nest-site to which the male could attract a secondary female. Testosterone was significantly related to several behaviours involved in female–female interactions. Females with testosterone implants spent significantly more time close to the caged female and produced more song bouts than control females. In contrast, male behaviour was unrelated to the experimental status of the mate. Females mated to males that attracted a secondary female were less aggressive towards the caged female than those that remained monogamously mated. The effect of exogenous testosterone in this study indicates that androgens may mediate social behaviours in female starlings during the breeding season.},
  author       = {Sandell, Maria},
  issn         = {1432-0762},
  keyword      = {Aggression - Female aggression - Hormones - Testosterone - Sexual conflicts - Mating systems -  Sturnus vulgaris  - Song},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {255--262},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Exogenous testosterone increase female aggression in the European starling},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-007-0460-9},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2007},
}