Reproductive promiscuity, whereby females are fertilized by extrapair mates, is common. The frequency of extrapair fertilizations (EPFs) depends on at least three sources of variation. First, females may differ in their proneness to being fertilized by extrapair males. Second, males may differ in traits that affect realized promiscuity of females. Third, EPF decisions depend on the combined effects of the identity of social mates. Here, we relied on extensive genetic parentage analysis of the offspring of a socially monogamous bird, the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, to assess which of the above sources of variation predict the occurrence of EPFs. When we controlled for pair composition and social mate attractiveness, EPFs covaried with morphological and coloration traits of feathers in females. As expected, females mated with highly ornamented, long-tailed males had fewer EPFs. The composition of the breeding pair also accounted for variation in EPFs, implying that the ability of individual males to secure genetic parentage varies between female mates. These results show that females differ in promiscuity, and phenotypic traits of females that are visible to males are associated with promiscuity, potentially serving as cues to prospecting males. Hence, contrary to common interpretations of the negative relationship between male sexual attractiveness and female promiscuity, it can be speculated that larger genetic parentage by highly ornamented males results from their ability to secure the less promiscuous mates rather than from females being less promiscuous when mated to them. Moreover, our study shows that EPFs also depend on the composition of the social pair, as expected if a component of female promiscuity decisions depends on genetic or behavioural compatibility with the social male mate. Our study emphasizes that female promiscuity and its phenotypic correlates, and composition of the social pair, deserve closer attention in studies of sexual selection mediated by EPFs.
Extrapair fertilizations vary with female traits and pair composition, besides male attractiveness, in barn swallows / A. Costanzo, R. Ambrosini, M. Caprioli, E. Gatti, M. Parolini, A. Romano, D. Rubolini, L. Gianfranceschi, N. Saino. - In: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. - ISSN 0003-3472. - 134(2017 Dec), pp. 183-191.
|Titolo:||Extrapair fertilizations vary with female traits and pair composition, besides male attractiveness, in barn swallows|
COSTANZO, ALESSANDRA (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||barn swallow; female phenotype; male attractiveness; promiscuity; sperm competition; ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics; animal science and zoolog|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/18 - Genetica|
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
|Data di pubblicazione:||dic-2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.10.019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|