Males of Chrysozephyrus smaragdinus were active from late morning to late afternoon, during which they showed territorial behavior, perhaps for mating. The territorial male stayed in a particular area and occasionally flew around it, referred to hereafter as the inspection area. When other male intruded into this area, the territorial male rushed to him. Then, they engaged in a circling flight regarded as a “war of attrition”. During this flight, the two males sometimes strayed far away from the territory. After the circling flight, the resident returned to his territory in almost all cases (98%). Despite such intrusions, many residents defended their territory for several successive days. This suggests strongly the “effect of prior residence”. We recorded the circling flights with a high-speed video camera, and confirmed that the male that ceased the circling flight first was the loser. This finding gave some validity to consider circling flight as wars of attrition. In a few cases, the territorial male mated with a female that came to the territory. These once mated males held the territory no longer, suggesting that mating experience should restrict the next mating opportunity in this species.
wars of attrition