Female collared flycatchers adjust yolk testosterone to male age, but not to attractiveness

  title={Female collared flycatchers adjust yolk testosterone to male age, but not to attractiveness},
  author={G{\'a}bor Michl and J{\'a}nos T{\"o}r{\"o}k and P{\'e}ter P{\'e}czely and L{\'a}szl{\'o} Zsolt Garamszegi and Hubert Schwabl},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology},
The differential allocation hypothesis predicts that females invest more resources into reproduction when mating with attractive males. In oviparous animals this can include prefertilization decisions such as the production of larger eggs and the deposition of hormones, such as the steroid testosterone, into yolks. On the other hand, a compensatory hypothesis posits that females allocate more resources into the eggs when mated with males of inferior quality. In the present study, we show that… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Compensatory investment in zebra finches: females lay larger eggs when paired to sexually unattractive males
It is shown that female zebra finches invested more resources, both in terms of egg volume and yolk carotenoid content, when paired to a low genetic quality male, as judged from his previous ability to obtain extra-pair paternity in aviary colonies, the first experimental support for the compensatory investment hypothesis in a species with lifetime monogamy.
Yolk hormones and sexual conflict over parental investment in the pied flycatcher
It is suggested that females may allocate yolk androgen levels to adjust the growth trajectories of the chicks to poor growing conditions when mated with young males that are poor providers or occupying a poor territory.
Reproductive allocation in female house wrens is not influenced by experimentally altered male attractiveness
Results are inconsistent with both the differential allocation hypothesis and the compensation hypothesis, and future studies should consider the possibility that the criteria used by females in selecting a mate may vary temporally and be more flexible than generally thought.
Influence of mating preferences on yolk testosterone in the grey partridge
Reproductive compensation in broad-nosed pipefish females
It is shown that the same female provides both large and small mating partners with eggs of similar size, weight and lipid content when mated to two males in succession, contrary to the differential allocation hypothesis.
Do females invest more into eggs when males sing more attractively? Postmating sexual selection strategies in a monogamous reed passerine
The results suggest that female egg investment is related to male song performance in several aspects, but female investment patterns regarding various egg compounds are not simply correlated.
Differential allocation in relation to mate song quality in the Bengalese finch
It is found that clutch size and egg mass were highly repeatable within individual females while sex ratio was not, and females mated to better mates adjusted their reproductive investment by producing heavier eggs and possibly offspring of the more costly sex.
Male sexual attractiveness affects the investment of maternal resources into the eggs in peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Results show that the association between paternal phenotype and offspring quality could arise via a differential maternal investment, and suggest that, if ornamented males do transmit good genes to the progeny, the maternal differential investment can amplify the effect of such good genes on the offspring fitness.
Differential effects of yolk hormones on maternal and paternal contribution to parental care


Egg investment is influenced by male attractiveness in the mallard
It is shown that individual female mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) lay larger eggs after copulating with preferred males and smaller eggs afterCopulating with less preferred males, showing that differences between half-sibs cannot always be attributed to paternal or maternal genetic effects.
Interfemale variation in egg yolk androgen allocation in the European starling: do high-quality females invest more?
Examining interfemale variation in allocation of the androgenic steroids testosterone and androstenedione to eggs in a wild population of European starlings found that there was significant interf female variation in yolk androgen concentrations.
No evidence for differential maternal allocation to offspring in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus)
No evidence was found that suggested differential maternal allocation in this population of house sparrows, which raises the question about the possible constraints or overriding factors operating on patterns of reproductive investment in this species.
Male attractiveness and differential testosterone investment in zebra finch eggs.
This study shows that female birds deposit higher amounts of testosterone and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone in their eggs when mated to more attractive males.
Yolk androgens reduce offspring survival
Additional studies are necessary in order to determine whether the deposition of yolk androgens is an adaptive form of parental favouritism or an adverse by–product of endocrine processes during egg formation, despite its adaptive significance.
Female survival, lifetime reproductive success and mating status in a passerine bird
In the collared flycatcher, females of polygynously mated males seem to suffer from mating status during the most recent reproductive event, but considering survival and lifetime reproductive success, the apparently disadvantageous mating event is not necessarily associated with reduced residual reproductive value.
Peahens lay more eggs for peacocks with larger trains
It is found that peahens randomly mated to males that vary in the degree of ornament produce more eggs for those peacocks with more elaborate trains, and the possibility that this difference arises as a result of difference between males in their ability to fertilize eggs is found to be unfounded.
Sex ratio adjustment in relation to paternal attractiveness in a wild bird population.
It is shown that the sex ratio within broods of a natural population of sexually size-monomorphic collared flycatchers Ficedula albicollis is related to the size of their father's forehead patch, a heritable secondary sexual character implicated in female choice.
Maternal androgens in black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) eggs: consequences for chick development
We tested the hypothesis that mother birds counterbalance the negative effects of hatching asynchrony for later–hatched chicks by increasing the yolk androgen concentrations in consecutive eggs of