A hybrid snipe Gallinago gallinago x G-media found in the wild
2015 (English)In: Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie, ISSN 0021-8375, E-ISSN 1439-0361, Vol. 156, no 3, 819-827 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A hybrid snipe male was observed and caught in 2009 in the Norwegian mountains. We report behaviour, vocalizations, morphology, and genetic data for this bird. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences revealed that the hybrid had a great snipe mother and a common snipe father. The hybrid was intermediate in most measured morphometric traits and showed some intermediate plumage characteristics. The behaviour was similar to that of a great snipe-it displayed and vocalised at a great snipe lek for more than a week. The song was somewhat reminiscent of a great snipe's, but lacked the frequency-modulated whistles that are part of the great snipe song, consisting of more rapid click notes of a narrower frequency spectrum. This is the only putative hybrid that we have found among the more than 4,400 adult individuals we have examined between 1986 and 2014 at great snipe leks in Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Estonia. Common snipes invariably occur near these sites. Reports on putative hybrids among snipe species are very rare, and we question the validity of previous claims. This is the first where the parental origins-and, indeed, the hybrid status-have been unequivocally determined. We speculate on how a great snipe female, known for being extremely choosy about mating, came to mate with a common snipe male. We also note that, although perhaps behaviourally more likely, physical constraints on chick development (caused by the smaller egg size of the common snipe and larger body size of the great snipe) might prevent any successful male great snipe x female common snipe hybridisation-a possible example of an unidirectional post-zygotic barrier.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 156, no 3, 819-827 p.
Snipe, Hybrid, Behaviour, Morphometrics, Song, Post zygotic isolation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258322DOI: 10.1007/s10336-015-1154-0ISI: 000356447100026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-258322DiVA: diva2:841900
FunderSwedish Research Council