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Title

Female aggressiveness towards female decoys decreases with mate T level in the pied flycatcher

AuthorsMoreno Klemming, Juan ; Gil, Diego ; Cantarero, Alejandro ; López-Arrabé, Jimena
KeywordsFemale territoriality
Cavity nesters
Female testosterone
Issue Date2016
PublisherSpringer
CitationActa Ethologica 19(1): 9-14 (2016)
AbstractSocial selection is expected to favour the evolution of female aggressive defence of nesting resources in cavity-nesting birds, which may be also mediated by testosterone (T) levels. Male T levels could express male dominance and thereby territorial safety for female partners and thereby reduce their need for aggressive defence. Here, we explored the role of T levels in female-female competition in a songbird, the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. In an experiment with female decoys placed close to the nestbox at the end of laying, we explored if female aggressiveness is related to their own T level or to mate T level. T levels of males and females were measured in the middle of the nestling period. Mean female aggressiveness towards decoys in three presentations was estimated through proximity to the decoy and number of attacks by females, two variables which were positively associated. Aggressiveness by female nest owners to female decoys was negatively related to male T level but unrelated to own T level. There was no assortative mating with respect to T level. Female aggressiveness is more strongly related to the hormonal status of mates than to their own.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/155242
DOI10.1007/s10211-015-0217-9
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10211-015-0217-9
issn: 0873-9749
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