Sneaky copulations by subordinate males suggest direct fitness benefits from male–male associations in spotted bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus maculatus)

Autor(en)
Giovanni Spezie, Leonida Fusani
Abstrakt

Male spotted bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus maculatus) build and defend a structure of sticks and straw—the bower—decorated with colourful objects to attract mates during the breeding season. Specific non-territorial, subordinate males are tolerated by resident males at bowers over multiple breeding seasons. Prior research showed that these male–male associations exhibit attributes of coalitionary behaviour and that subordinate males gain delayed benefits from associating with bower owners, namely future bower inheritance. Yet, it remained unclear whether subordinate males may additionally gain direct fitness benefits from attending established bowers. Here, we report on four separate instances of sneaky copulations (or attempts of copulating) by subordinate males at resident males' bowers. Multiple non-resident males disrupted the ongoing copulations between the bower owner and a receptive female, and these events were followed by violent aggressive interactions. These observations shed new light on same-sex social dynamics in spotted bowerbirds and support the hypothesis that subordinate males are sexually mature individuals that occasionally obtain access to females while attending established bowers. We discuss these findings in light of the literature on male courtship coalitions and agonistic behaviour in bowerbirds, and highlight further aspects of subordinate behaviour that require empirical investigation.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Journal
Ethology
Band
129
Seiten
55-61
Anzahl der Seiten
7
ISSN
0179-1613
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.13336
Publikationsdatum
01-2023
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106051 Verhaltensbiologie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Animal Science and Zoology
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/sneaky-copulations-by-subordinate-males-suggest-direct-fitness-benefits-from-malemale-associations-in-spotted-bowerbirds-ptilonorhynchus-maculatus(f6579679-ec58-45b6-82ed-8fa3913c2c72).html