In this paper we report the copulation behavior of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana), a species in which males defend a harem of females. We describe the females' behavior during 14 copulation events observed from 1995–1997 at Buenos Aires province, Argentina. During copulations, females performed a more active role than previously suggested. Moreover, on three occasions we observed that harem females performed a complex copulation solicitation display, forming a closed circle to attract the male. We hypothesize that this display could be a reliable signal to the male of the tendency of females to be inseminated and lay eggs communally.
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Vol. 115 • No. 4