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1 December 2014 Mates Exhibit Similar Brightness of Carotenoid Red Caps in Middle Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos Medius
Konrad Leniowski, Ewa Węgrzyn, Ziemowit Kosiński
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Abstract

Most bird species display sexually dimorphic traits. In contrast to this general rule, both males and females of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker present a carotenoid red cap, which constitutes mutual ornamentation. In our study we investigated whether pair members are matched in terms of the brightness of this ornament. We also examined the similarity between mates in red cap size as well as biometric parameters, such as weight and the length of the wing, beak and tarsus. We found that males and females within pairs were positively assortatively mated with respect to the red cap brightness as well as body weight. We found no similarity between pair members neither in red cap size nor the length of wing, beak or tarsus. We discuss our findings in the light of mutual mate choice, social competitions and other factors that may account for the similarity in expression of the red cap in the studied species.

Konrad Leniowski, Ewa Węgrzyn, and Ziemowit Kosiński "Mates Exhibit Similar Brightness of Carotenoid Red Caps in Middle Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos Medius," Acta Ornithologica 49(2), 267-272, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.3161/173484714X687154
Received: 1 April 2014; Accepted: 1 December 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
assortative mating
carotenoid ornaments
Middle Spotted Woodpecker
mutual ornamentation
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