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Old, colourful male yellowhammers, Emberiza citrinella, benefit from extra-pair copulations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
1996 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 52, 113-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The frequency of extra-pair paternity was determined in broods of the yellowhammer using single-locus DNA fingerprinting. Of 32 analysed clutches, 69% contained at least one extra-pair young. Out of 123 nestlings, 37% were extra-pair sired young. The extra-pair male could be assigned to 23 (50%) nestlings. Successful extra-pair males were all at least 3 years old although both younger and older males suffered from extra-pair paternity. Extra-pair males were also significantly more colourful than pair males, but did not differ in other characters. Colour did not differ between males with or without extra-pair young. The frequency of extra-pair young was not related to breeding density and identified extra-pair males were not necessarily nearest neighbours, giving further evidence that extra-pair males are not chosen at random. Since females do not obtain anything but sperm from extra-pair males, the results suggest that females prefer older and more colourful males, contributing good or attractive genes, as indicated by their plumage. Consequently, old, colourful extra-pair males, and possibly females, are likely to benefit from extra-pair copulations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1996. Vol. 52, 113-122 p.
National Category
Zoology Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268362DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1996.0157ISI: A1996VA49700011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268362DiVA: diva2:876648
Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2015-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, Jan
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