Recent studies reveal that asymmetries of bilateral characteristics may reflect poor condition, serving as an honest indicator of mate quality. We asked whether bilateral asymmetry might also influence behavior during aggressive intrasexual contests. In the Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), bilateral, white wing patches (epaulettes) are used during aggressive interactions. We recorded responses of males to model intruders placed on territories of focal males, to determine whether their response to asymmetry varied with wing-patch size. When epaulettes were large, models with asymmetric patches elicited more rapid, directed aggression from the territory owners than did models with symmetric patches. We observed no such difference when model intruders had small epaulettes. If asymmetry of epaulettes in chaffinch males indicates poor condition, our results suggest higher costs of aggressive signaling for individuals in poor than good condition.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 119 • No. 2