The Conflict Between Male Polygamy and Female Monogamy: The Case of the Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

  title={The Conflict Between Male Polygamy and Female Monogamy: The Case of the Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca},
  author={Rauno V. Alatalo and Allan Carlson and Arne Lundberg and Staffan Ulfstrand},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={738 - 753}
Some males of the pied flycatcher enhance their individual fitness by mating with two females, one of which receives their full support in caring for the brood, while the other is given very little or no aid and therefore, on average, produces a much reduced brood. These so-called secondary females thus have a low fitness. We refute the theories of differential territory quality and of sexy sons to explain the bigamous strategy in this species and argue that the male cheats some females into… 

The Conflict Between Male Polygamy and Female Monogamy: Some Comments on the "Cheating Hypothesis"

It is proposed that male pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca "cheat" some females into becoming their secondary mates, and the finding that these secondary females raise fewer offspring than do the mates of monogamous males raises fewer offspring.

Polygyny in the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca: a test of the deception hypothesis

Polygyny in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca): comparison of deception and non-deception models

The results showed that the proportion of secondary females increased when the density of males increased, as well when the operational sex ratio increased in favour of females, but these results were indistinguishable between the models when number of simulation repetitions was low.

Polygyny and its fitness consequences for primary and secondary female pied flycatchers

  • T. HukW. Winkel
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2006
It was revealed that direct reproductive success, i.e. number of fledglings, was lower in females that mated with bigynous males, especially in secondary broods without male assistance, than in females in the pied flycatcher that mates with monogamous males.

Polygyny and female aggression in the pied flycatcher: a comment on Rätti et al.

Polygyny in the blue tit: intra- and inter-sexual conflicts

It is concluded that sexual conflicts play an important role in shaping the mating system of the blue tit and that parental care is the key factor in these conflicts.

Polyterritorial Polygyny in the Pied Flycatcher: Male Deception or Female Choice?

  • P. T. Meier
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1983
This view contradicts the Orians-Verner model (Verner 1964; Orians 1969) that predicts polygyny will occur in situations in which the distribution of resources is sufficiently irregular that a female mating with an already paired male on a territory ofsuperior quality has equal or better eproductive success than if she mated with an unmated male on an inferior quality.

Sexual conflict in the house sparrow: interference between polygynously mated females versus asymmetric male investment

  • J. Veiga
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
The reproductive success of female house sparrows mated with polygynous males depended to some extent on the aid received from their mates, and monogamy seems to be the optimum mating situation for females.




It is pointed out that if sexual selection results in sexual dimorphism expressed during the period of parental care, there may be a change in average expenditure per sex with a consequent change in sex ratio, and mate preference, which in my opinion should have a profound influence on the mating system, may also have an effect on the sex ratio.

The Influence of Habitats on Mating Systems of North American Passerine Birds

Regardless of sex ratio, a polygynous mating is expected to be adaptive for the females as well as for the male, and marshes and prairies are more likely than forests to present the minimum requisite food supply and sufficiently great differences in available food between territories for selection to favor polygyny.

Adaptations of Polygynous Breeding in the Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus

A number of adaptations important in minimizing the disadvantages of a secondary status in female Bobolinks ( Dolichonyx oryzivorus ) have been discovered.

Hybridization as an Agent of Competition between Two Bird Allospecies: Ficedula Albicollis and F. Hypoleuca on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic

It is suggested that this may prevent F. hypoleuca from building up a large and viable population and thereby to outcompete F. albicollis from its only bastion in NW Europe, i.e. the Baltic islands, where it is probably a relict from a period with circumstances more favourable than at present.

Microgeographic Prediction of Polygyny in the Lark Bunting

Field experiments on breeding populations of lark buntings in South Dakota support the hypothesis that polygyny is promoted by a high variance in quality among male territories, and the mating status of males was predicted accurately in new areas of Colorado and North Dakota before females arrived.

Offspring Quality and the Polygyny Threshold: "The Sexy Son Hypothesis"

An expansion of the Orians-Verner model for the evolution of polygyny has been made to explain evidence contradictory to that model. By separating the individual quality of the male from the quality

Parental investment and sexual selection

The p,cnetics of sex nas now becn clarif ied, and Fishcr ( 1958 ) hrs produccd , n,od"l to cxplarn sex ratios at coDception, a nrodel recently extendcd to include special mccha_ nisms that operate under inbreeding (Hunrilron I96?).

On the Evolution of Mating Systems in Birds and Mammals

Most cases of polygyny in birds, a group in which monogamy is the most common mating pattern, can be explained on the basis of the model, and those cases not apparently fitting into the predictions are clearly indicated.

Biometry, habitat distribution and breeding success in the Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

The size-related assortment of individuals upon the two habitats was interpreted as the outcome of competitive interactions and the lower reproductive success in the less preferred habitat are in accordance with Fretwell's ideal despotic distribution model.

The Evolution of Mating Systems in Birds and Mammals

Mating system theory must mesh with theoretical advances concerning the evolution of territoriality, parental behavior, and animal sociality and by including the appropriate theoretical work from these other areas, an integrated theory of vertebrate mating systems can be developed.