Adoption or infanticide: Options of replacement males in the European starling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Adoption or infanticide: Options of replacement males in the European starling. / Smith, Henrik; Wennerberg, Liv; von Schantz, Torbjörn.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 38, No. 3, 1996, p. 191-197.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

APA

CBE

MLA

Vancouver

Author

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adoption or infanticide: Options of replacement males in the European starling

AU - Smith, Henrik

AU - Wennerberg, Liv

AU - von Schantz, Torbjörn

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - The behaviour of a male bird towards a potential mate and her clutch may depend both on his expected paternity and on the likelihood that she will produce a replacement clutch if he commits infanticide. In this study we evaluate the choices made by replacement male European starlings Sturnus vulgaris. By removing males before and during laying, we induced other males, mainly neighbours, to mate with the reproductively active females. When the original male was removed before laying, a new male adopted the subsequent clutch in 14 out of 15 cases. When ten females were widowed during their laying period, replacement males never adopted their clutches. The paternity of replacement males was a function of when they replaced the former male. When replacement occurred more than 3 days before egglaying, the new male fathered nearly all offspring; when it occurred the day before laying, the new male still fathered more than every second young. When the original male was removed during his mate's laying period, in five out of ten cases a replacement male committed infanticide by throwing out the eggs, but this only occurred in one out of 15 cases when removal took place before laying. The evidence for infanticide actually being committed by the replacement male was circumstantial. Four out of six of the females affected by apparent infanticide produced replacement clutches in which the male presumably had higher paternity than in the original clutch. In all cases, the male adopted the replacement clutch. In five cases when the original male was removed during laying, the neighbours neither adopted the brood nor committed infanticide, although they sometimes were seen courting the widowed female and copulating with her. These cases occurred later during laying than those were males comitted infanticide. The time from infanticide to the laying of the replacement clutch tended to increase as infanticide was committed later in the laying sequence. We conclude that strategies of potential replacement males are influenced by their expected paternity in the current brood and the probability that the female will produce an early replacement clutch.

AB - The behaviour of a male bird towards a potential mate and her clutch may depend both on his expected paternity and on the likelihood that she will produce a replacement clutch if he commits infanticide. In this study we evaluate the choices made by replacement male European starlings Sturnus vulgaris. By removing males before and during laying, we induced other males, mainly neighbours, to mate with the reproductively active females. When the original male was removed before laying, a new male adopted the subsequent clutch in 14 out of 15 cases. When ten females were widowed during their laying period, replacement males never adopted their clutches. The paternity of replacement males was a function of when they replaced the former male. When replacement occurred more than 3 days before egglaying, the new male fathered nearly all offspring; when it occurred the day before laying, the new male still fathered more than every second young. When the original male was removed during his mate's laying period, in five out of ten cases a replacement male committed infanticide by throwing out the eggs, but this only occurred in one out of 15 cases when removal took place before laying. The evidence for infanticide actually being committed by the replacement male was circumstantial. Four out of six of the females affected by apparent infanticide produced replacement clutches in which the male presumably had higher paternity than in the original clutch. In all cases, the male adopted the replacement clutch. In five cases when the original male was removed during laying, the neighbours neither adopted the brood nor committed infanticide, although they sometimes were seen courting the widowed female and copulating with her. These cases occurred later during laying than those were males comitted infanticide. The time from infanticide to the laying of the replacement clutch tended to increase as infanticide was committed later in the laying sequence. We conclude that strategies of potential replacement males are influenced by their expected paternity in the current brood and the probability that the female will produce an early replacement clutch.

KW - females

KW - tree swallows

KW - hirundo-rustica

KW - sturnus-vulgaris

KW - tropical house wrens

KW - extra-pair paternity

KW - dunnocks prunella-modularis

KW - parental care

KW - male

KW - sexually selected infanticide

KW - intraspecific brood parasitism

KW - male investment

KW - paternity

KW - Sturnus vulgaris

KW - adoption

KW - infanticide

U2 - 10.1007/s002650050232

DO - 10.1007/s002650050232

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 191

EP - 197

JO - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

T2 - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

JF - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

SN - 1432-0762

IS - 3

ER -