Journal of Ethology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 151–155 | Cite as

Sex and deception: a rare case of cheating in a lekking tropical bird

  • W. Alice BoyleEmail author
  • Elsie H. Shogren
Video Article


Many classic examples of sexually selected traits result from females making informed mate choices. Behaviors by males that increase their own reproductive success at the expense of female choice can undermine such mating systems. We documented an apparently rare example of such a behavior involving “cheating” in a facultatively cooperatively-displaying manakin species (White-ruffed manakin, Corapipo altera). After the cheating event, we observed a dramatic change in the behavior and activity of males displaying at the site and no subsequent female visits. We hypothesize that the infrequency of facultative cooperative behavior may in part result from cheating risks inherent in such systems. A digital video image relating to the article is available at


Display Male–male cooperation Mating system Sexual selection 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant no. 1646806. S. V. Replogle Curnutt assisted in the field and M. A. Jones critiqued a draft of this manuscript. We are grateful for permission from Kansas State University IACUC (#3728), the Costa Rican Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (SINAC-SE-CUS-PI-R-032–2016 and R-04–2016-OT-CONAGEBIO), and the administration of Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals and all applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest regarding this work.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of BiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUnited States

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