Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 373–378 | Cite as

Low frequency of extrapair paternity in the common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

  • Oddmund KlevenEmail author
  • Trond Øigarden
  • Bjørn E. Foyn
  • Arne Moksnes
  • Eivin Røskaft
  • Geir Rudolfsen
  • Bård G. Stokke
  • Jan T. Lifjeld
Original Article


Social monogamy is common among passerines whereas genetic monogamy is regarded as rare. Here we report the first study of paternity in the genus Phoenicurus (Aves, Muscicapidae). In the socially monogamous common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) 2.0% (5/253) of offspring in 10.5% (4/38) of the broods examined were sired by extrapair males. The observed pattern of extrapair paternity was consistent among two geographically separate nest-box populations sampled over two years. Our findings reveal low rates of extrapair paternity compared with other passerine birds, suggesting only a minor role of sperm competition in this sexually dichromatic species.


Extrapair paternity Sperm competition Phoenicurus phoenicurus 



We are grateful to Lars Erik Johannessen for assistance with the fieldwork.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oddmund Kleven
    • 1
    Email author
  • Trond Øigarden
    • 1
  • Bjørn E. Foyn
    • 3
  • Arne Moksnes
    • 4
  • Eivin Røskaft
    • 4
  • Geir Rudolfsen
    • 2
  • Bård G. Stokke
    • 4
  • Jan T. Lifjeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural History Museum, Department of ZoologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Biology, Department of Ecology and EvolutionUniversity of TromsoTromsoNorway
  3. 3.TrysilNorway
  4. 4.Department of BiologyNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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