Journal für Ornithologie

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 144–161

Behaviour and evolution in the genusEuplectes

  • Adrian J. F. K. Craig
Article

Summary

TheEuplectes species are polygynous weavers, showing marked sexual and seasonal dimorphism. The ♂ are territorial during the breeding season, and interspecific territorial behaviour is common. Courtship consists of a flight display followed by a perched display leading to copulation. The nest plays an important role in courtship. Throughout the year the birds feed and roost in large aggregations. The evolution of the genus is discussed; the two main behavioural changes have been an elaboration of the flight display, accompanied by a decline in nest-building by the ♂.

Zusammenfassung

DieEuplectes-Arten sind polygame Webervögel mit einem ausgeprägten Sexualdimorphismus. Während der Brutzeit legen die ♂ das farbige Prachtkleid an und gründen Reviere, die häufig auch gegen artfremde ♂ verteidigt werden. Die Balz besteht aus zwei Elementen: einer Flugbalz, gefolgt von einer Stangenbalz, die zur Kopulation führt. Das Nest spielt bei der Balz eine wichtige Rolle. Das ganze Jahr hindurch versammeln sich die Vögel in großen Schwärmen zum Nahrungserwerb und am Schlafplatz. Der wahrscheinliche Verlauf der Evolution in dieser Gattung wird beschrieben. Zwei augenfällige Verhaltensänderungen sind eine Zunahme in der Dauer und Komplexität der Flugbalz, begleitet von einer Abnahme der Nestbauaktivität durch die ♂.

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Copyright information

© Verlag der Deutschen Ornithologen-Gesellschaft 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian J. F. K. Craig
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of NatalSouth Africa
  2. 2.Dept. Zool. & Entomol.Rhodes Univ.Grahamstown 6/40South Africa

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