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Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 485–496 | Cite as

Variation within and between courts in visual components of Swallow-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) display

  • Pedro H. L. Ribeiro
  • André C. Guaraldo
  • Regina H. Macedo
  • Lilian T. ManicaEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Birds are well known for displaying courtship exhibitions shaped by sexual selection that involve combinations of visual, motor, and acoustic components. Among such multifaceted exhibitions are those of male piprids, which can perform coordinated or cooperative displays to attract females. Here we focus on the Swallow-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata), endemic to the Atlantic Forest, whose displays include two or more males executing a cartwheel-type movement (“cooperative display”) and solo exhibitions. We used videography to describe and analyze male maneuvers and to test differences in display parameters between courts (where adult males perform coordinated/cooperative displays in groups of two to six individuals within an arena) and between dominant and subordinate males. We recorded displays of individuals from four courts in southern Brazil during two breeding seasons. We identified nine male display elements, five in cooperative, three in solo formations and one in other contexts, in addition to two elements performed exclusively by females. Sequences of male display elements were highly stereotyped, but three display parameters differed between courts: vertical flight height, distance from which males approached females and cartwheel velocity. Moreover, subordinates flew longer vertical flights than dominants. This variability suggests that females may evaluate courts based on display parameters, leading to their decision to remain at the perch, attend the solo display and eventually copulate. The vertical flight duration can also be a signal used during intrasexual communication, such as for hierarchy establishment. Our detailed description of male display attributes provides essential evidence that courts differ in motor parameters, and opens an avenue for further studies on sexual selection mechanisms in the Swallow-tailed Manakin and other manakins.

Keywords

Atlantic forest Lekking Motor display Pipridae Sexual selection 

Zusammenfassung

Variation visueller Komponenten der Schaubalz beim Blaubrustpipra ( Chiroxiphia caudata ) innerhalb und zwischen Balzarenen.

Vögel sind bekannt für ihr auffälliges, durch sexuelle Selektion geformtes Balzverhalten, welches Kombinationen aus visuellen, motorischen und akustischen Komponenten umfasst. Zu diesen facettenreichen Darbietungen gehören die der männlichen Schnurrvögel, welche zur Anlockung von Weibchen koordiniertes oder kooperatives Schaubalzverhalten ausführen können. Hier betrachten wir den für den Atlantischen Regenwald endemischen Blaubrustpipra (Chiroxiphia caudata), bei dem als Teil der Schaubalz zwei oder mehr Männchen einen radschlagähnlichen Bewegungsablauf („kooperative Schaubalz“) sowie Einzeldarbietungen zeigen. Mittels Videoaufnahmen beschrieben und analysierten wir die Manöver der Männchen und untersuchten diese auf Unterschiede bezüglich der Parameter des Balzverhaltens zwischen verschiedenen Balzarenen sowie zwischen dominanten und untergeordneten Männchen. Über zwei Brutsaisons hinweg nahmen wir Schaubalzen von Individuen aus vier Balzarenen in Südbrasilien auf. Wir identifizierten neun Schaubalzelemente bei den Männchen, fünf davon in kooperativen, drei in einzelnen Darbietungen sowie eine weitere in anderem Kontext auftretende; zusätzlich noch zwei Elemente, die ausschließlich von den Weibchen ausgeführt wurden. Die Abfolge der Schaubalzelemente war bei den Männchen hochgradig stereotyp, drei Parameter unterschieden sich jedoch zwischen den Balzarenen: vertikale Flughöhe, der Abstand, bis zu dem die Männchen sich den Weibchen näherten, und die Geschwindigkeit des Radschlags. Außerdem führten untergeordnete Vögel längere vertikale Flüge aus als dominante. Diese Variabilität legt nahe, dass die Weibchen die Arenen möglicherweise aufgrund der Darbietungsparameter bewerten, woraufhin sie entscheiden, ob sie auf der Sitzwarte bleiben, der Einzelvorstellung zuschauen und schließlich kopulieren. Die Dauer des Vertikalfluges kann auch ein Signal im Rahmen der intrasexuellen Kommunikation darstellen und zum Beispiel der Hierarchiefindung dienen. Unsere detaillierte Beschreibung der Attribute des männlichen Balzverhaltens liefert entscheidende Belege dafür, dass sich die Arenen hinsichtlich der motorischen Parameter unterscheiden und bereitet den Weg für weiterführende Untersuchungen zu den Mechanismen der sexuellen Selektion beim Blaubrustpipra und anderen Schnurrvögeln.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to all field and lab assistants who helped collect and process the data. We are also grateful to Laura M. Schaedler, Jeff Podos and anonymous referees for valuable comments and suggestions, to members of the Manakins Research Coordination Network for productive discussions regarding manakin species, to Miguel Â. Marini, Marco Pizo, Alex Jahn and IdeaWild for equipment donation and sharing and to Instituto Ambiental do Paraná, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation and National Center for Bird Conservation (ICMBio/CEMAVE) for research permits.

Funding

This study was funded by the Conselho de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes/Brazil) by a scholarship granted to P. H. L. R. and A. C. G.; the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/Brazil, grant to L. T. M. no. 455908/2014-1); the Animal Behavior Society for the Student Research Grant to P. H. L. R.; the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAP-DF/Brazil, grant no. 193.000.845 to R. H. M.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (license nos.: Sistema de Autorização e Informação em Biodiversidade no. 44439, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Aves Silvestres no. 1195110 and Ethics Commitee of the Universidade Federal do Paraná no. 820).

Supplementary material

Online Resource 1. Repertoire of male and female Swallow-tailed Manakin displays

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Copyright information

© Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Ecology and Ornithology Lab, Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em ZoologiaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e ConservaçãoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  4. 4.Animal Behaviour Lab, Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil

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