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Working with what you’ve got : unattractive males show greater mate-guarding effort in a duetting songbird [Biology Letters]

Keywords : sexual selection, mating tactics, polymorphism, vocal duet, acoustic mate guarding

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

When mates are limited, individuals should allocate resources to mating tactics that maximize fitness. In species with extra-pair paternity (EPP), males can invest in mate guarding, or, alternatively, in seeking EPP. Males should optimize fitness by adjusting investment according to their attractiveness to females, such that attractive males seek EPP, and unattractive males guard mates. This theory has received little empirical testing, leaving our understanding of the evolution of mating tactics incomplete ; it is unclear how a male’s relative attractiveness influences his tactics.(...)

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