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Animal Behaviour
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.58
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 187  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0003-3472 - ISSN (Online) 1095-8282
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3163 journals]
  • Estimating the robustness and uncertainty of animal social networks using
           different observational methods
    • Authors: Grace H. Davis; Margaret C. Crofoot; Damien R. Farine
      Pages: 29 - 44
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Grace H. Davis, Margaret C. Crofoot, Damien R. Farine
      Social network analysis is quickly becoming an established framework to study the structure of animal social systems. To explore the social network of a population, observers must capture data on the interactions or associations between individuals. Sampling decisions significantly impact the outcome of data collection, notably the amount of data available from which to construct social networks. However, little is known about how different sampling methods, and more generally the extent of sampling effort, impact the robustness of social network analyses. Here, we generate proximity networks from data obtained via nearly continuous GPS tracking of members of a wild baboon troop (Papio anubis). These data allow us to produce networks based on complete observations of interindividual distances between group members. We then mimic several widely used focal animal sampling and group scanning methods by subsampling the complete data set to simulate observational data comparable to that produced by human observers. We explore how sampling effort, sampling methods, network definitions and levels and types of sampling error affect the correlation between the estimated and complete networks. Our results suggest that for some scenarios, even low levels of sampling effort (5–10 samples/individual) can provide the same information as high sampling effort (>64 samples/individual). However, we find that insufficient data collected across all potentially interacting individuals, certain network definitions (how edge weights and distance thresholds are calculated) and misidentifications of individuals in the network can generate spurious network structure with little or no correlation to the underlying or ‘real’ social structure. Our results suggest that data collection methods should be designed to maximize the number of potential interactions (edges) recorded for each observation. We discuss the relative trade-offs between maximizing the amount of data collected across as many individuals as possible and the potential for erroneous observations.

      PubDate: 2018-06-03T19:15:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.012
      Issue No: Vol. 141 (2018)
       
  • Sex differences in face but not colour learning in Polistes fuscatus paper
           wasps
    • Authors: Nicole DesJardins; Elizabeth A. Tibbetts
      Pages: 1 - 6
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Nicole DesJardins, Elizabeth A. Tibbetts
      When males and females have distinct behaviour, learning may vary between the sexes. Polistes fuscatus wasps provide an interesting model to study sex differences in learning because males and females have different social behaviour. Female wasps have highly variable facial patterns used for individual face recognition, live in cooperative groups where interactions depend on individual face recognition and excel at learning female faces. In contrast, male wasps lack the type of variable facial patterns necessary for individual face recognition and do not participate in the type of social interactions known to favour individual recognition in females. Instead, males leave the nest soon after adulthood and devote their energy to mating. Given the behavioural differences between males and females, females may be more adept at learning wasp faces than males. Here, we train male and female P. fuscatus to discriminate between pairs of female P. fuscatus face images and pairs of colours. Females learned to discriminate between pairs of face images more accurately than males. However, males and females were equally adept at colour learning, indicating that there are no generalized sex differences in learning. The sex differences in face, but not colour, learning are consistent with the adaptive specialization hypothesis, which posits that cognitive abilities are selected to solve particular social or ecological problems. Overall, general learning capacity is similar across male and female wasps, but face learning is shaped by sex-specific recognition behaviour.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.012
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Frequency-dependent selection and fluctuations around an equilibrium for
           alternative reproductive tactics in a swordtail
    • Authors: Oscar Rios-Cardenas; Lisa Bono; Molly R. Morris
      Pages: 19 - 28
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Oscar Rios-Cardenas, Lisa Bono, Molly R. Morris
      Negative frequency-dependent selection (NFDS) should have an important role at maintaining equal fitness among different alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) at an evolutionarily stable state (i.e. equilibrium). Empirical evidence to support both NFDS and equal fitness in the same system is limited. Using the swordtail fish Xiphophorus multilineatus we examined the hypotheses that NFDS may play an important role in maintaining the genetically influenced ARTs in this species at equal fitness. With a mesocosm study we found that sneaker males had a significantly lower reproductive success when they were more common, as expected. Field estimates of relative reproductive success also supported NFDS: the reproductive success of each tactic decreased when they were more common. We then used the field estimates of relative reproductive success and age to sexual maturity in a modified version of the Euler equation to determine whether the relative fitness of the two ARTs was equal in two different periods. Our analysis incorporated both the zero class of males and the invisible fraction, which are often missing from studies of the maintenance of polymorphisms. We found that the population was not at equilibrium during one sample (sneaker frequency 86%) but was at equilibrium during another (sneaker frequency 38%). We discuss factors that may be driving the fluctuations around the equilibrium, including variation in female preferences for courter males, while NFDS may be producing a stable limit cycle around it.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.018
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • The adaptive role of a species-specific courtship behaviour in coping with
           remating suppression of mated females
    • Authors: Kazuyoshi Minekawa; Takahisa Miyatake; Yukio Ishikawa; Takashi Matsuo
      Pages: 29 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Kazuyoshi Minekawa, Takahisa Miyatake, Yukio Ishikawa, Takashi Matsuo
      Three-way interactions consisting of a female and her current and previous mates have been studied intensively in the context of sperm competition involving male manipulation of female remating rate but have rarely been documented in a broader context involving classical premating male display and stimulatory traits such as courtship behaviour. This is surprising because premating traits influence the intensity of postmating competition, which occurs only when a mated female consecutively accepts another male. In Drosophila fruit flies, the subsequent male has an advantage over the previous male in sperm competition. However, the ejaculate of the previous male changes the female's behaviour to refuse remating for several days (remating suppression), reducing the potential advantage of the subsequent male. Under such conditions, the evolution of any means that counteract remating suppression is thought to be adaptive for the subsequent male. Males of the fruit fly Drosophila prolongata perform a unique courtship behaviour called ‘leg vibration’. Although leg vibration increases female receptivity, it is not always required for mating with virgin females, raising a question of why it evolved in the first place. In this study, the role of leg vibration in remating was examined, using leg amputation to manipulate the efficiency of leg vibration and an eye colour mutation to detect remating events. Leg vibration had a profound effect on mated females: the remating rate was extremely low with leg-amputated males, indicating that leg vibration was almost indispensable for remating of recently mated females. Our results demonstrated that single courtship behaviour has different levels of importance or necessity for the first male and the subsequent males, providing an example of the evolution of courtship behaviour that was possibly driven by postmating competition.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Do intraguild prey protect their eggs from intraguild predators that share
           their oviposition site'
    • Authors: Fumiaki Saitoh; Yasuyuki Choh
      Pages: 49 - 55
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Fumiaki Saitoh, Yasuyuki Choh
      Intraguild (IG)-prey prefer to oviposit at sites with a low IG-predation risk of their offspring. However, IG-predators sometimes show oviposition preferences similar to those of IG-prey. In such cases, IG-prey eggs might need protection against IG-predators to survive. We tested this possibility using a system that consisted of an IG-prey, the predatory mite Gynaeseius liturivorus, and an IG-predator, the predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus. Both mite species feed on larvae of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, as a shared food source. When offered plastic discs as substrates for oviposition, both mite species preferred to lay eggs on the discs, regardless of the presence of heterospecifics. Subsequently, we examined G. liturivorus egg survival in the presence of only conspecific mothers or N. californicus, and the presence and absence of both mite species. The survival of G. liturivorus eggs was significantly reduced when kept with only N. californicus, but this reduction was not found in the presence of both G. liturivorus and N. californicus. These results indicate that G. liturivorus mothers improved the survival of the eggs in the presence of N. californicus. Behavioural observation revealed that adult female G. liturivorus mostly remained on the plastic discs with their own eggs during experiments. Furthermore, the presence of G. liturivorus mothers reduced the residence time of N. californicus on plastic discs with G. liturivorus eggs, whereas the residence time of G. liturivorus mothers was not affected by the presence of N. californicus. We conclude that mothers of G. liturivorus are able to increase the survival of their eggs by deterring IG-predators.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.005
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Developmental changes in song production in free-living male and female
           New Zealand bellbirds
    • Authors: Michelle M. Roper; Aaron M.T. Harmer; Dianne H. Brunton
      Pages: 57 - 71
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Michelle M. Roper, Aaron M.T. Harmer, Dianne H. Brunton
      Song development research has been dominated by studies of northern hemisphere species where typically only males sing. However, female song is present in many species and recent research shows that female song is in fact the ancestral trait for songbirds. Here we present results from a field-based cross-sectional study comparing song development in both sexes of New Zealand bellbirds, Anthornis melanura. We asked whether both sexes develop song at a similar rate, and how the components of a song differ with age. The motor phases of each sex began at similar ages, with subsong starting at 3 weeks posthatching and song types crystallizing by 24 weeks. Song components were compared between three age groups: learning phase, first breeding season and adults. Song structure and acoustic properties were similar between sexes within the learning phase (except for mean fundamental frequency) but differed in adults. The variety of syllable types produced was more widespread in the learning phase and differed significantly between age groups and sexes. Individual syllable production varied in consistency between age groups for both sexes and we suggest that more complex syllables may require more practice to develop to maturity. The findings support the consensus that female and male bellbirds learn song at similar rates; however, differences between the sexes in the learned song components result in sexually dimorphic songs. This study is novel in that we used a field-based approach in which the complex song of male and female wild birds was compared between age groups ranging from fledging to adulthood. Our study contributes to current knowledge of female song development, a topic important for further understanding the selection pressures driving song evolution in songbirds.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.003
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Female receptivity affects subsequent mating effort and mate choice in
           male guppies
    • Authors: P. Guevara-Fiore; J.A. Endler
      Pages: 73 - 79
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): P. Guevara-Fiore, J.A. Endler
      High mating effort leads to choosiness because each mating event reduces future reproductive potential. Many studies have shown that males adjust their sexual behaviour relative to female fecundity and encounter rate. However, little is known about the effects of a male's past mating experiences. We used guppies, Poecilia reticulata, to investigate how males change their sexual behaviour after experiencing high or low mating success. Each male was tested with two differently sized unreceptive females before and after encountering either four indiscriminate receptive virgin females or four nonreceptive pregnant females. Males that experienced high mating success with receptive females decreased their courtship displays but increased the frequency of sneaky behaviour, whereas low mating success males previously repetitively rejected by nonreceptive females showed an increase in courtship and a decrease in sneaky copulation attempts. Mating history also influenced male choosiness, with successful males showing stronger preferences for larger females than unsuccessful males. This overall adjustment in behaviour may be attributed to a reduction of resources, such as energy and gametes, as well as prior social interaction with receptive and nonreceptive females. Males that adjust their effort and choosiness based on their recent mating history and their own condition could optimize reproductive trade-offs.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.007
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Do juvenile rats use specific ultrasonic calls to coordinate their social
           play'
    • Authors: Candace J. Burke; Theresa M. Kisko; David R. Euston; Sergio M. Pellis
      Pages: 81 - 92
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Candace J. Burke, Theresa M. Kisko, David R. Euston, Sergio M. Pellis
      Play fighting in juvenile rats is associated with a high occurrence of 50 kHz vocalizations. These calls are varied in form, ranging from long, flat calls to short, frequency-modulated ones. We hypothesize that at least some types of calls serve as play signals to facilitate play. In the present study, pairs of juvenile male rats that were unfamiliar with one another were paired in a neutral test enclosure to which they had been habituated. Video and audio records were made of the encounters. Pairs were of two types: both pairs could vocalize or only one partner could do so. There were some differences between the play of pairs containing a devocalized partner, but overall, the pattern of play, the frequency and types of calls were similar between the two types of pairs. We used a Monte Carlo shuffling technique to analyse the correlations between the playful actions performed and the types and frequencies of various 50 kHz calls that were produced. The analyses revealed that there were strong associations between types of calls and types of social contact: an approach followed by playful nape contact was associated with calls, but an approach followed by nonplayful contact (e.g. anogenital sniffing) was not. Similarly, different calls were associated with different actions, such as nape contact, evade and wrestling, with most of these calls being uttered by the initiator of the action, not the recipient. However, coordinating calls reciprocally with complementary calls uttered by participants as they engaged in complementary actions (e.g. attacking, being attacked) appeared to be a way in which calls could potentially be used as play signals to influence the ongoing cooperation needed to sustain play fights.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.019
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Colour plasticity alters thermoregulatory behaviour in Battus philenor
           caterpillars by modifying the cue received
    • Authors: Matthew E. Nielsen; Eran Levin; Goggy Davidowitz; Daniel R. Papaj
      Pages: 93 - 98
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Matthew E. Nielsen, Eran Levin, Goggy Davidowitz, Daniel R. Papaj
      Behaviour is an important way for animals to rapidly respond to changes in their current environment; however, over extended periods animals can also respond to environmental change via slower, developmental plasticity in other traits. This developmental plasticity could itself alter the animal's behaviour in two ways: it could change the state of the aspect of the animal's current environment that induces the behaviour (the cue), or it could change the physiology underlying production of that behaviour (the behavioural reaction norm). We tested these alternatives for two responses to temperature, colour plasticity and refuge-seeking behaviour, in pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor, caterpillars. Prior research found that black caterpillars seek thermal refuges at lower ambient temperatures than red caterpillars in the field. Here, we found that the effect of colour on behaviour in the laboratory depended on how we heated the caterpillars. When warmed by radiant heat, black caterpillars sought refuge sooner than red caterpillars, as occurs in nature. In contrast, when warmed by conduction of heat, black caterpillars no longer sought refuges sooner than red caterpillars. Both colour morphs began seeking refuges at the same body temperature in both experiments, and the sensitivity of their metabolic rate to temperature was also the same. Taken together, our findings indicate that while colour does change the cue for refuge seeking, it does not change the behaviour's reaction norm. Similar cue-mediated interactions may often occur for thermoregulatory behaviour in other species.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T20:49:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.009
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Animal choreography of song and dance: a case study in the Montezuma
           oropendola, Psarocolius montezuma
    • Authors: Meredith C. Miles; Matthew J. Fuxjager
      Pages: 99 - 107
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Meredith C. Miles, Matthew J. Fuxjager
      Many multimodal displays incorporate choreography, which occurs when animals modulate how body movements are timed across the display. Choreography typically involves pairing specific gestures with vocalizations. This allows the signaller to effectively produce a display that is more complex than either of its components in isolation. Moreover, some animals appear to use a special case of choreography that can augment vocal performance. Expanding the multimodal framework to incorporate choreography is therefore a necessary step towards understanding how combining two signals into one impacts a display's structure. We explore this in a case study of free-living Montezuma oropendolas, Psarocolius montezuma, a polygynous songbird that performs a dramatic song and dance. We found that two elements of this display (bow and wing spread), are each choreographed with the song's loudest note (dBmax) and lowest peak frequency (LPF), respectively. This suggests that oropendolas electively time the swing and wing spread gesture with key song elements. Interestingly, there was a correlation between the depth of an individual's swing and LPF, which was not explained by body size or social context. However, social context did predict a difference in vocal performance in terms of frequency modulation. Meanwhile, there was no relationship between wing display performance and dBmax. This means that oropendolas choreograph their swing gesture to predict LPF, which might reflect an individual's motor skill or even directly influence vocal performance. Altogether, our data suggest that animals can incorporate phenotypically distinct forms of choreography into their display repertoire, where each instance of choreography serves as an opportunity to generate a novel signal when one did not exist before.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.006
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Birds orient their heads appropriately in response to functionally
           referential alarm calls of heterospecifics
    • Authors: Francesca S.E. Dawson Pell; Dominique A. Potvin; Chaminda P. Ratnayake; Esteban Fernández-Juricic; Robert D. Magrath; Andrew N. Radford
      Pages: 109 - 118
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Francesca S.E. Dawson Pell, Dominique A. Potvin, Chaminda P. Ratnayake, Esteban Fernández-Juricic, Robert D. Magrath, Andrew N. Radford
      Vertebrate alarm calls signal danger and often encode graded or categorical information about predator proximity or type. In addition to allowing communication with conspecifics, alarm calls are a valuable source of information for eavesdropping heterospecifics. However, although eavesdropping has been experimentally demonstrated in over 70 species, we know little about exactly what information eavesdroppers gain from heterospecific alarm calls. Here, we investigated whether Australian magpies, Cracticus tibicen, extract relevant information about the type of threat from functionally referential alarm calls given by noisy miners, Manorina melanocephala. Miner aerial alarm calls signal a predator in flight, whereas mobbing calls signal a terrestrial or perched predator. We therefore tested whether magpies gain information on the elevation of expected danger. We first confirmed, by measuring bill angles on video, that magpie head orientation changes appropriately with differences in the elevation of a conspicuous moving object. We then conducted a field experiment that measured magpie bill angle in response to playback of miner aerial and mobbing alarm calls. The maximum and mean bill angles were higher in response to aerial than to mobbing calls, suggesting that magpies use information from miner alarms to search visually at appropriate elevations for the specific type of danger. Magpies were also vigilant for longer after aerial alarm calls that followed mobbing calls, implying perception of an escalating threat level. Our work shows that individuals can gain information on the type or location of danger from heterospecific alarm calls, which is likely to increase the effectiveness of antipredator responses.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.010
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Who dares does not always win: risk-averse rockpool prawns are better at
           controlling a limited food resource
    • Authors: Daniel K. Maskrey; Stephen J. White; Alastair J. Wilson; Thomas M. Houslay
      Pages: 187 - 197
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Daniel K. Maskrey, Stephen J. White, Alastair J. Wilson, Thomas M. Houslay
      Animal ‘personality’, the phenomenon of consistent individual differences in behaviour within populations, has been documented widely, yet its functional significance and the reasons for its persistence remain unclear. One possibility is that among-individual behavioural variation is linked to fitness-determining traits via effects on resource acquisition. In this study, we tested this idea, using rockpool prawns, Palaemon elegans, to test for a correlation between ‘high-risk exploration’ and the ability to monopolize a limited resource. Modified open field trials (OFTs) confirmed that consistent among-individual (co)variation in high-risk exploratory behaviours does exist in this species, and multivariate analysis showed trait variation is consistent with a major axis of personality variation. Subsequent feeding trials in size-matched groups where competition was possible revealed a high repeatability of feeding duration, used here as a proxy for RHP (resource-holding potential). We found significant negative correlations between feeding duration and two ‘risky’ behaviours, such that individuals that took fewer risks fed more. Our results are not consistent with the widely hypothesized idea of a ‘proactive syndrome’ in which bolder, risk-taking personalities are positively associated with RHP. Rather they suggest the possibility of a trade-off, with some individuals successful at monopolizing limited, high-value resources, while others are more willing to engage in potentially risky exploration (which may increase the likelihood of encountering novel resource patches). We speculate that alternative strategies for acquiring limited resources might thereby contribute to the maintenance of personality variation observed in wild populations.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.023
      Issue No: Vol. 140 (2018)
       
  • Suffering third-party intervention during fighting is associated with
           reduced mating success in the fallow deer
    • Authors: Dómhnall J. Jennings; Richard J. Boys; Martin P. Gammell
      Pages: 1 - 8
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139
      Author(s): Dómhnall J. Jennings, Richard J. Boys, Martin P. Gammell
      Numerous studies have shown that dyadic fights are regularly disrupted by the intervention of third-party group members. Empirical and theoretical attention with respect to these interventions have focused predominantly on the fitness advantages that accrue to the intervening individual; conversely, little attention has been given to studying the fitness implications of suffering from third-party intervention behaviour. Therefore, we investigated this issue by examining the relationship between variation in individual mating success and suffering third-party interventions during a fallow deer, Dama dama, rut. Mating success was analysed using a ‘hurdle’ model against three explanatory variables: daily variation in suffering an intervention, dominance rank and fight rate. The lower, logistic level of the model indicated a negative interaction between variation in suffering an intervention and fight rate in relation to whether a mating was achieved or not. Further investigation of this interaction showed that the proportion of matings achieved by males declined as interventions suffered increased regardless of whether males had a high (five or more fights per day) investment in fighting. There was no meaningful effect observed in the upper level of the model. We also investigated whether there was evidence for a temporal association between suffering interventions and mating success: two models investigated interventions suffered on a previous day and the cumulative sum of interventions suffered over 2 days in relation to mating success. Neither model showed a meaningful association at the lower or upper level indicating that the effects of intervention behaviour are temporally limited in this population. Our results underline the complex nature of the relationships at play during third-party interventions in relation to mating success. We suggest that there is a need for greater empirical investigation and wider theoretical scrutiny with respect to suffering intervention.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T19:02:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.02.016
      Issue No: Vol. 139 (2018)
       
  • From cannibal to caregiver: tracking the transition in a cichlid fish
    • Authors: Filipa Cunha-Saraiva; Sigal Balshine; Richard H. Wagner; Franziska C. Schaedelin
      Pages: 9 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139
      Author(s): Filipa Cunha-Saraiva, Sigal Balshine, Richard H. Wagner, Franziska C. Schaedelin
      Although the consumption of one's own offspring is often viewed as maladaptive, under some circumstances this behaviour can be a beneficial way to terminate parental care. When the costs of providing care are extremely high or the benefits of performing care are especially low, parents will sometimes cannibalize their own young, which is called filial cannibalism. This behaviour enables them to cease to care while recouping lost energy. Most studies examining the link between the cost/benefit ratio of care and filial cannibalism have focused on species with male-only care. In contrast, filial cannibalism in biparental caring species has been studied only rarely. To increase our understanding of filial cannibalism in biparental species and examine the transition from cannibal to caring parent, we conducted four experiments with Neolamprologus caudopunctatus, a biparental cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, Africa. First, in experiment 1 we show that the establishment of a pair bond and nest construction did not inhibit cannibalism of foreign eggs. Second, in experiment 2 we removed eggs from parents for various durations and showed that the act of spawning and the presence of the parents' own brood nearly always maintained care and inhibited cannibalism. Third, parents did not discriminate between their own and foreign broods of eggs or hatched young when supplied with complete or with half-cross-fostered young (experiments 3 and 4). Atypically, across all experiments cannibalism was mostly performed by the female. Taken together, our results trace the behavioural transition from egg consumer to egg carer in this biparental species and expand our understanding of cannibalism to biparental species.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T19:02:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.003
      Issue No: Vol. 139 (2018)
       
  • Spatial consequences for dolphins specialized in foraging with fishermen
    • Authors: Mauricio Cantor; Paulo C. Simões-Lopes; Fábio G. Daura-Jorge
      Pages: 19 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139
      Author(s): Mauricio Cantor, Paulo C. Simões-Lopes, Fábio G. Daura-Jorge
      According to theory, individuals forage in ways that maximize net energy intake. Distinct foraging strategies may emerge within a population in response to heterogeneous resources, competition and learning, among other drivers. We assessed individual variation in, and ecological consequences of, an unusual, specialized foraging tactic between animals and humans. In southern Brazil, bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, herd fish schools towards artisanal fishermen, who cast nets in response to behavioural cues from the dolphins. This apparent cooperative tactic likely involves costs as well as benefits for both interacting parties, but such trade-offs remain poorly understood, especially for dolphins. We show that individual dolphins vary markedly in the frequency with which they interact with fishermen, and that this foraging variation is linked to ranging behaviour. Not all individual dolphins interact with fishermen; those that routinely do so concentrate around the limited interaction sites and have smaller home ranges than independent foragers. This suggests that foraging with fishermen increases foraging success and reduces search costs (i.e. foraging range). Competition for interaction sites may offset such benefits, since some individuals often forage at the high-quality sites while others forage at low-quality sites. Taken together, our findings suggest that two alternative tactics emerge in the population from trade-offs involving food access, foraging area, learning techniques and competition: dolphins either forage by themselves over larger areas on unpredictable resource patches (passing fish schools), or learn to interact with fishermen to access and compete for more predictable resource patches (interaction sites). By revealing some of the ecological drivers of this remarkable human–animal interaction, our study contributes two broader insights. First, specialized foraging can have ranging consequences for individuals and so structure the population spatially; second, interspecific cooperation may be founded upon intraspecific competition.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T19:02:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.002
      Issue No: Vol. 139 (2018)
       
  • The role of exaggerated male chelicerae in male–male contests in New
           Zealand sheet-web spiders
    • Authors: Leilani A. Walker; Gregory I. Holwell
      Pages: 29 - 36
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139
      Author(s): Leilani A. Walker, Gregory I. Holwell
      Animal weaponry has long captured the imagination of researchers and these weapons are frequently exaggerated in size. Large weapons are particularly common in species in which males defend females from potential rivals and sexual selection is generally credited with driving this pattern of exaggeration. Male New Zealand sheet-web spiders, Cambridgea foliata (Araneae: Desidae), possess chelicerae (jaws) that are substantially larger than those of female conspecifics. To investigate whether chelicerae exaggeration is selected for in the context of male–male competition, we staged contests between males and analysed how different components of resource-holding potential influenced the outcomes and durations of contests. We found that while males with large chelicerae were more likely to win contests, body condition and body size were better predictors of contest outcome. While contest durations were highly variable, there is some evidence that males make decisions about when to retreat from contests using self-assessment. As a result, only very large males are likely to reach the most escalated phase of fighting in which they lock chelicerae with their opponent. In this way, regardless of whether extra-long chelicerae impart any advantage over similarly sized opponents, exaggerated chelicerae are only used by especially large males and are therefore of little use to small males.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T19:02:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.02.020
      Issue No: Vol. 139 (2018)
       
  • Experimental evolution with an insect model reveals that male homosexual
           behaviour occurs due to inaccurate mate choice
    • Authors: Kris Sales; Thomas Trent; Jessie Gardner; Alyson J. Lumley; Ramakrishnan Vasudeva; Łukasz Michalczyk; Oliver Y. Martin; Matthew J.G. Gage
      Pages: 51 - 59
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139
      Author(s): Kris Sales, Thomas Trent, Jessie Gardner, Alyson J. Lumley, Ramakrishnan Vasudeva, Łukasz Michalczyk, Oliver Y. Martin, Matthew J.G. Gage
      The existence of widespread male same-sex sexual behaviour (SSB) is puzzling: why does evolution allow costly homosexual activity to exist, when reproductive fitness is primarily achieved through heterosexual matings' Here, we used experimental evolution to understand why SSB occurs in the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. By varying the adult operational sex ratio across 82–106 generations, we created divergent evolutionary regimes that selected for or against SSB depending upon its function. Male-biased (90:10 M:F) regimes generated strong selection on males from intrasexual competition, and demanded improved ability to locate and identify female mates. By contrast, Female-biased regimes (10:90 M:F) generated weak male–male competition, and relaxed selection on mate-searching abilities in males. If male SSB functions through sexually selected male–male competition, it should be more evident within Male-biased regimes, where reproductive competition is nine times greater, than in the Female-biased regimes. By contrast, if SSB exists due to inaccurate mate choice, it should be reduced in Male-biased regimes, where males experience stronger selection for improved mate finding and discrimination abilities than in the Female-biased regime, where most potential mating targets are female. Following these divergent evolutionary regimes, we measured male engagement in SSB through choice experiments simultaneously presenting female and male mating targets. Males from both regimes showed similar overall levels of mating activity. However, there were significant differences in levels of SSB between the two regimes: males that evolved through male-biased operational sex ratios located, mounted and mated more frequently with the female targets. By contrast, males from female-biased selection histories mated less frequently with females, exhibiting almost random choice between male and female targets in their first mating attempt. Following experimental evolution, we therefore conclude that SSB does not function through sexually selected male–male competition, but instead occurs because males fail to perfectly discriminate females as mates.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T19:02:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 139 (2018)
       
  • Animal expertise: mechanisms, ecology and evolution
    • Authors: Carling Baxter; Joseph Mentlik; Ieta Shams; Reuven Dukas
      Pages: 101 - 108
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour
      Author(s): Reuven Dukas
      Expertise consists of the features that allow individuals with extensive experience on a given complex task to show superior performance on that task compared to novices. While expertise has been investigated mostly in humans, it is highly relevant for other species as well because it can have strong effects on fitness. Moreover, studying expertise in nonhumans can help us understand human expertise. Several features that distinguish experts within their domain of expertise from novices include (1) greater long-term memory, (2) larger capacity of working memory, (3) better ability to focus attention on the most relevant concurrent tasks, (4) superior ability to anticipate, perceive and comprehend the relevant elements in one's surroundings, (5) quicker and better decisions, and (6) faster and more coordinated motor movements. The development of expertise follows a characteristic pattern of gradual improvement in performance over extended periods devoted to practising a given complex task. Heritable variation in a few traits can affect the rate of expertise acquisition and its peak levels. These traits include motivation to practise, perseverance, basic cognitive abilities such as attention span, working memory capacity, learning rates and memory retention, and various physiological, anatomical and morphological features. Key environmental factors influencing expertise development are parental and social settings, which may encourage investment in the extended practice necessary for achieving superior performance on complex tasks. Future work on the evolutionary biology of expertise should focus on the yet unknown neurobiological mechanisms that underlie it, heritable variation in the traits that enable expertise and their genetic basis, further quantifications of expertise acquisition in natural settings, the fitness consequences of the traits that facilitate top expert performance, and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of expertise.

      PubDate: 2018-06-06T18:44:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.02.010
      Issue No: Vol. 138 (2018)
       
  • Differential effects of brain size on memory performance in parasitic
           wasps
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Emma van der Woude, Martinus E. Huigens, Hans M. Smid
      Small animals usually have relatively larger brains than large animals. This allometric brain–body size scaling is described by Haller's rule. However, one of the smallest known insects, Trichogramma evanescens, a parasitic wasp, shows brain isometry, leading to similar relative brain sizes in small and large conspecifics. The somewhat larger Nasonia vitripennis parasitic wasp displays diphasic brain–body size scaling with isometry in small individuals and allometry in large individuals. These two species may have undersized brains for small wasps, with reduced cognitive abilities. Here, we induced intraspecific body size variation in genetically identical T. evanescens and N. vitripennis and examined cognitive trade-offs of brain scaling. We compared visual and olfactory memory retention between small and large conspecifics. Results showed that diphasic brain scaling affected memory retention levels in N. vitripennis, whereas isometric brain scaling did not affect memory retention in T. evanescens. The two species may experience different evolutionary pressures that have shaped the cognitive consequences of isometric brain–body size scaling. A possible trade-off of brain isometry in T. evanescens could be present in brain properties other than memory performance. In contrast, it may be more adaptive for N. vitripennis to invest in other aspects of brain performance, at the cost of memory retention.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Presence of an audience and consistent interindividual differences affect
           archerfish shooting behaviour
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Nick A.R. Jones, Mike Webster, Christopher N. Templeton, Stefan Schuster, Luke Rendell
      The social environment can play an important role in shaping the foraging behaviour of animals. In this study we investigated whether archerfish, Toxotes jaculatrix, display any behavioural changes in response to the presence of an audience while using their specialized foraging tactic of shooting, spitting precisely aimed jets of water, at prey targets. As any prey items shot down are potentially available to competitors, we hypothesized that shooting fish would be sensitive to the presence of potential competitors, especially given the suggestion that, in the wild, this species shows intraspecific kleptoparasitism and faces interspecific competition. We found that in the presence of another fish, archerfish took longer to shoot, made more orientations (aiming events) per shot, and tended to be closer to the target at the time of shooting. Additionally, archerfish showed high interindividual differences in latency to shoot, and these differences were consistent across contexts, with and without an audience. Our results show that archerfish are sensitive to, and adjust their shooting behaviour in response to, the presence of an audience and highlight the importance of social context in this fish species. We also suggest that interindividual differences may play an important role in archerfish shooting behaviour. This study highlights the importance of social effects and competition on foraging behaviour and decision making. Further work in this species could explore whether differences in competitive foraging ability are linked to sensitivity to the presence of an audience.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • In wolves, play behaviour reflects the partners' affiliative and dominance
           relationship
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Simona Cafazzo, Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Jennifer L. Essler, Zsófia Virányi, Kurt Kotrschal, Friederike Range
      Puppy packs (consisting of only puppies) and mixed-age packs (composed of puppies and adults) were observed to test whether social play can be used for assessing and establishing social relations in wolves, Canis lupus. Differently from previous studies, we looked at play behaviours in detail, allowing us to categorize play interactions as either competitive or relaxed, and predicted that different types of play would be associated with different relationships between individuals. We found that the more time dyads spent in relaxed play, the more affiliative interactions they exchanged outside of play. In the mixed-age packs, dyads that spent more time in both relaxed and competitive play showed fewer exchanges of aggressive behaviours. Conversely, in puppy packs, the more time dyads spent in competitive play, the more aggressive interactions were exchanged outside of play. Since clear dominance relationships emerged in the mixed-age packs, but not in puppy packs, we suggest that play can help to reduce the frequency of aggressive interactions only when a clear hierarchy exists between pack members. Furthermore, we found that in both puppy and mixed-age packs, dominance relationships were reflected and rarely reversed during play. Finally, dyads with a less clear dominance relationship spent more time playing in a competitive way. Overall, our results support the social assessment hypothesis suggesting that social relationships outside of play are reflected during playful interactions. Moreover, we revealed how different types of play, that is, playing in a competitive or relaxed way, may be related to different social relationships. This distinction between play types has not been acknowledged before but could help researchers better understand the functions of play in different species.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Scatter-hoarding rodents are better pilferers than larder-hoarders
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Zhenyu Wang, Bo Wang, Xianfeng Yi, Chuan Yan, Lin Cao, Zhibin Zhang
      Food hoarding is critical to rodents for their survival and reproduction. However, the seeds cached by rodents often suffer heavy pilferage by competitors. Therefore, compensation for cache loss is crucial, especially for scatter-hoarding rodents, as they cannot aggressively defend their stored seeds, whereas larder-hoarding rodents can. Pilfering caches of other individuals may be an effective way to compensate for cache loss for rodents. Hence, cache pilfering is likely to be as important as hoarding to food-hoarding rodents. Scatter-hoarding rodents may rely on their olfactory abilities and explore a wide area to retrieve their cached seeds, which may help to increase the probability of encountering and pilfering others' caches, whereas it is not essential for larder-hoarding rodents. We hypothesized that rodents that showed stronger scatter-hoarding behaviour would be better pilferers. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relationship between scatter-hoarding and pilferage behaviours among four coexisting species of rodents using seminatural enclosure experiments in southwest China. Both hoarding and cache pilfering differed significantly between the four species. The predominant scatter-hoarding rodents, red spiny rats, Maxomys surifer, had a strong cache-pilfering behaviour, whereas yellow-bellied rats, Rattus flavipectus, mainly adopted larder-hoarding strategies and had a weak cache-pilfering behaviour. Chinese white-bellied rats, Niviventer confucianus, and chestnut rats, Niviventer fulvescens, had moderate scatter-hoarding and cache-pilfering behaviours. The intensity of cache pilfering was negatively correlated with the intensity of larder hoarding, but positively correlated with the intensity of scatter hoarding among the coexisting food-hoarding rodents. Our study suggests that the positive correlation between the intensities of scatter hoarding and cache pilfering is likely to facilitate reciprocal pilferage among scatter-hoarding rodents, which helps to maintain the stability of scatter-hoarding behaviour in these populations.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Ant nurse workers exhibit behavioural and transcriptomic signatures of
           specialization on larval stage
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Justin T. Walsh, Michael R. Warner, Adrian Kase, Benjamin J. Cushing, Timothy A. Linksvayer
      Division of labour within and between the worker and queen castes is thought to underlie the tremendous success of social insects. Colonies might benefit if subsets of nurse workers specialize further in caring for larvae of a certain stage or caste, given that larval nutritional requirements depend on stage and caste. We used short-term (<1 h) and long-term (10 days) behavioural observations to determine whether nurses of the pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, exhibit such specialization. We found evidence for behavioural specialization among nurses based on larval instar but not larval caste. This specialization was widespread, with 56% of nurses in the short-term and 22–27% in the long-term showing significant specialization. Additionally, we identified ∼200 genes that were differentially expressed in nurse head and abdominal tissues between nurses feeding young versus old larvae. These included 18 genes predicted to code for secreted proteins, which may be passed from nurses to larvae via trophallaxis, as well as vitellogenin and major royal jelly protein-1, which have previously been implicated in the transfer of nutrition from nurse to larvae and the regulation of larval development and caste in social insects. Altogether, our results provide the first evidence in any social insect for a division of labour among nurse workers based on larval stage, and our study begins to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying this specialization.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Flexible use of simple and combined calls in female Campbell's monkeys
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Camille Coye, Karim Ouattara, Malgorzata E. Arlet, Alban Lemasson, Klaus Zuberbühler
      Call combinations allow animals to expand the communicative power of small repertoires with acoustically inflexible elements. In Campbell's monkeys, Cercopithecus campbelli, males possess a small repertoire of calls that can be merged to an acoustically invariable suffix and which are concatenated into various sequences, mainly in response to external disturbances. The vocal repertoire of adult females has been less well studied although it is much richer, containing both alarm and various social calls. In particular, females possess a low-pitched contact call, produced either alone or merged with a high-pitched, arched unit. Combined contact calls are identity-richer and easier to detect than simple calls. Here, we investigated the socioecological factors that determined the production of single and combined utterances and found that combined utterances were more common when identity was relevant such as in mixed-species associations and during socially important vocal exchanges. In contrast, single calls were used mainly when predation risk was high, as part of this species' generally cryptic antipredator strategy. We discuss these finding in the light of current theories regarding the evolution of combinatorial signalling.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Quality versus quantity: do weak bonds enhance the fitness of female
           baboons'
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Joan B. Silk, Robert M. Seyfarth, Dorothy L. Cheney
      There is growing evidence that social bonds have adaptive consequences for individuals in many mammalian species, including savannah baboons. While the majority of studies have shown that the strength of social bonds and the extent of social integration enhance female fitness, several other investigations have suggested that the number of social bonds may sometimes may be more important than the strength or quality of females' social relationships. Here, we examine the impact of the number of strong and weak social bonds on female fertility and longevity in a population of chacma baboons,Papio ursinus. We find no evidence that the number of social bonds consistently affects fertility or infant survival to 1 year, but offspring of females with more weak social bonds lived longer than offspring of other females. After discussing several methodological issues that may influence the analyses of the effects of the number of social bonds, we re-examine the relationship between the number of weak and strong social bonds and reproductive performance using procedures that avoid these problems. Again, we find no evidence that the number of weak or strong social bonds affects females' fertility, survival to 1 year. The effects of the number of weak social bonds on infant longevity disappear, and appear to be an artefact of the relationship between the number of weak social bonds and the number of females in the group.

      PubDate: 2018-06-21T14:56:43Z
       
  • Stereotypic behaviours are heterogeneous in their triggers and treatments
           in the American mink, Neovison vison, a model carnivore
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Andrea Polanco, María Díez-León, Georgia Mason
      Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are common in confined animals including captive Carnivora, which display diverse forms of SB: often whole-body movements (e.g. pacing), but also head-only movements (e.g. head twirling) and ‘scrabbling’ (scratching at enclosure boundaries). Although often pooled together, emerging evidence indicates that SBs are heterogeneous, suggesting that subtypes differ in their causes, triggers, and consequently treatments. In mink, a model carnivore, scrabbling seems to be elicited by neighbouring conspecifics. We tested this hypothesis via three studies of 32 males (individually caged in rows and separated by solid partitions). Study 1 investigated whether neighbour proximity affects the location of any SBs, and Study 2, whether removing neighbours reduces any SBs. Results revealed that although mink typically avoided proximity to their neighbours, scrabbling was uniquely directed towards neighbours who were close to the shared cage partition. It was also the only SB significantly elevated by having all-male neighbours, and reduced by removing neighbours. Study 3 then investigated whether environmental enrichment, a standard SB treatment, would reduce or abolish different SBs equally, to assess whether scrabbling is simply easier to alleviate than other SBs. Enrichment reduced all SB subtypes, but logistic regressions revealed that the odds of complete abolition were higher for whole-body and head-only SBs than for scrabbling. Overall, these naturally solitary carnivores thus seem to avoid conspecific proximity, but they specifically direct their stereotypic scrabbling at neighbours; and their scrabbling is reduced by neighbour removal, while their whole-body and head-only SBs are instead better alleviated with enrichment. Understanding that carnivore SBs are heterogeneous in their triggers and most effective treatments may help zoos, breeding centres and mink farms improve the design of their enclosures and the efficacy of their enrichments.

      PubDate: 2018-06-14T18:31:34Z
       
  • Olfactory eavesdropping of predator alarm pheromone by sympatric but not
           allopatric prey
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Shihao Dong, Ping Wen, Qi Zhang, Yuan Wang, Yanan Cheng, Ken Tan, James C. Nieh
      Eavesdropping is predicted to evolve between sympatric, but not allopatric, predator and prey. The evolutionary arms race between Asian honey bees and their hornet predators has led to a remarkable defence, heat balling, which suffocates hornets with heat and carbon dioxide. We show that the sympatric Asian species, Apis cerana (Ac), formed heat balls in response to Ac and hornet (Vespa velutina) alarm pheromones, demonstrating eavesdropping. The allopatric species, Apis mellifera (Am), only weakly responded to a live hornet and Am alarm pheromone, but not to hornet alarm pheromone. We observed typical hornet alarm pheromone-releasing behaviour, hornet sting extension, when guard bees initially attacked. Once heat balls were formed, guards released honey bee sting alarm pheromones: isopentyl acetate, octyl acetate, (E)-2-decen-1-yl acetate and benzyl acetate. Only Ac heat balled in response to realistic bee alarm pheromone component levels (<1 bee-equivalent, 1μg) of isopentyl acetate. Detailed eavesdropping experiments showed that Ac, but not Am, formed heat balls in response to a synthetic blend of hornet alarm pheromone. Only Ac antennae showed strong, consistent responses to hornet alarm pheromone compounds and venom volatiles. These data provide the first evidence that the sympatric Ac, but not the allopatric Am, can eavesdrop upon hornet alarm pheromone and uses this information, in addition to bee alarm pheromone, to heat ball hornets. Evolution has likely given Ac this eavesdropping ability, an adaptation that the allopatric Am does not possess.

      PubDate: 2018-06-14T18:31:34Z
       
  • Relationships between personality and lateralization of sensory inputs
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Kyriacos Kareklas, Gareth Arnott, Robert W. Elwood, Richard A. Holland
      In humans and other vertebrates, sensory information is sometimes lateralized towards one brain hemisphere that dominates the control of a task. Although sensory lateralization may depend on the stimuli being processed, the degree or direction of lateralization can differ according to behavioural phenotype. Accordingly, personality may play an important role in lateralization, yet there is a lack of evidence regarding how lateralizations are utilized to process information and promote a personality-based response to a particular situation. Here we show that simultaneous stimulus processing and organization of personality-based responses can be accomplished via differences in laterality between senses. We demonstrate this by examining novel object inspection in the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii. We found that electrosensing is lateralized in this species, but differently between personality phenotypes: bold fish were lateralized towards the right hemisphere and timid fish the left. By contrast, visual laterality did not vary with personality; rather the left hemisphere was dominant across the population, as is common for fish when visually analysing unfamiliar objects. This evidence reveals differences in functional laterality between sensory systems and the role of personality in eliciting these differences. The species has a stronger input of electrical signals than visual signals in its brain; therefore, sensory representation in the brain might drive the laterality differences.

      PubDate: 2018-06-14T18:31:34Z
       
  • Brood provisioning and reproductive benefits in relation to habitat
           quality: a food supplementation experiment
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Martin U. Grüebler, Martina Müller, Vanja T. Michel, Marco Perrig, Herbert Keil, Beat Naef-Daenzer, Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt
      Food availability is a major characteristic of habitat quality, linking habitats with demographic parameters such as reproductive performance. Parent birds adjust their food provisioning to both habitat-specific food characteristics and the demands of their young. However, because habitat quality and the brood's food intake are often correlated, the underlying mechanisms of adjustments in parental provisioning remain entangled. How the relationship between habitat quality and parental provisioning behaviour affects the quantity of food available to nestlings and the resulting nestling growth and survival is therefore still incompletely established. We experimentally increased the food intake of little owl, Athene noctua, nestlings in two habitat types differing in food availability and used unsupplemented broods as controls. The food supplementation experiment allowed us to disentangle the effect of habitat type from the effect of the nestlings' food intake on parental provisioning behaviour. Camera traps recording a series of 10 consecutive images for each parental visit allowed us to quantify visiting rates and diet composition by applying a hierarchical multinomial model explicitly accounting for the observation process. Food supplementation caused parents to switch to smaller food items and to increase visiting rates, resulting in similar biomass brought to nestlings in supplemented and unsupplemented broods. Irrespective of the food supplementation, parents in low-quality habitats delivered 63% of the biomass delivered by those in high-quality habitats. Accordingly, we found an increase in nestling survival rates in response to food supplementation in low-quality habitats, but not in high-quality habitats. Our results show that habitat quality affects the biomass of prey delivered to the brood, whereas the nutritional state of the brood affects prey selection or foraging modes of parents. Reproductive output directly reflected habitat quality in terms of food availability, identifying food as the main factor underlying differential reproduction within and between populations.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T18:29:59Z
       
  • Presence and lasting effect of social referencing in dog puppies
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Claudia Fugazza, Alexandra Moesta, Ákos Pogány, Ádám Miklósi
      Social referencing is the process by which individuals utilize cues from emotional displays of a social partner to form their response to a new situation. Social referencing can provide advantages, especially to young, inexperienced individuals, by favouring an appropriate reaction to novel situations while avoiding the risks of trial and error learning. While there is evidence for social referencing from humans in adult dogs, Canis familiaris, the ontogeny of this behaviour has not been investigated. Moreover, it is not known whether dogs acquire some information during such interactions and recall it later, when encountering a similar situation. We tested 8-week-old companion dog puppies (N =48) of various breeds by exposing them to a novel stimulus in the presence of human or conspecific social partners. With humans, we tested the effect of different emotional signals expressed by the informant. With conspecifics, we tested whether the presence of the subject's mother or an unfamiliar dog affected behaviour towards the stimulus. Puppies alternated their gaze between the stimulus and the social partner (referential looking) with all the partners. Puppies tested in the presence of a human expressing positive emotional signals towards the stimulus were more likely to approach it than puppies tested with a human expressing neutral emotional signals (behavioural regulation). Importantly, this effect was still apparent after a delay of 1 h, when puppies were tested alone. Puppies tested in the presence of their mother were more likely to approach the stimulus than puppies tested alone or with an unfamiliar dog. The results of this study show that the ability for social referencing develops early in the ontogeny of companion dogs as it is already present at 8 weeks. The valence of the emotional cues provided by a human social partner and the presence of the mother affect the behaviour of puppies exposed to novel situations, even after a delay.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T18:29:59Z
       
  • Habitat complexity and predictability effects on finding and collecting
           food when ants search as cooperative groups
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Kaleda K. Denton, Peter Nonacs
      Cooperatively foraging groups have two sequential goals: to find food and thereafter efficiently exploit or retrieve it. Previous research has largely focused on searching behaviours of individuals or organization of food retrieval processes, rather than on how groups initially distribute themselves to find ephemeral food items that are unpredictable in time and space. In the present study, we examined how Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, search environments in anticipation of food appearing briefly in areas with differing spatial complexity. Nests were connected to three foraging arenas containing 1, 9 or 25 cells. Food appeared briefly in one cell each day, either randomly or more predictably in distant cells (but equally often in each arena). We recorded the number of ants in cells when food had not been recently present, and thereafter whether ants successfully located the food when presented. Surprisingly, as food location became more predictable, ants found it less frequently. Foragers were located more often in cells closer to the nest (i.e. at information ‘choke points’ that returning foragers needed to traverse), and in cells with higher connectivity and greater centralness within foraging arenas. Such distributions reduce search coverage area but likely increase information transmission. Thus, it appears that L. humile foragers distribute themselves to favour rapid recruitment when food is found rather than maximizing food encounter rates. Although the reduced foraging success with more predictably located food suggests that ants did not adjust expectations in a Bayesian manner within arenas towards individual cells, they did appear Bayesian across arenas. Because foragers missed food more often in higher-complexity arenas than in lower-complexity arenas, this could increase perceptions that the latter are more rewarding. Shifts in distributions were consistent with such biased perceptions. Future studies to determine whether other group-foraging species use analogous solutions would be highly useful.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T18:29:59Z
       
  • Evidence for vocal performance constraints in a female nonhuman primate
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Dena J. Clink, Russell A. Charif, Margaret C. Crofoot, Andrew J. Marshall
      Trilled vocalizations, wherein notes are repeated in rapid succession, are found in a variety of taxa including oscine birds, singing mice and nonhuman primates. Previous work on birds and singing mice has provided evidence of vocal performance constraints in trills, where there is a trade-off between the rate of the note repetition and the bandwidth (or frequency range) of each note. Here, we investigate vocal performance constraints in the trilled portion of the female contribution to the duet in the Bornean gibbon, Hylobates muelleri, recorded from seven sites in Sabah, Malaysia. We used two approaches. First, to ensure that our results were comparable with previous studies on vocal performance constraints, we used a 90% quantile regression to examine the relationship between trill rate and bandwidth. We found that there was a significant negative correlation between bandwidth and trill rate. Second, we formally compared multiple hierarchical models to identify the best predictors of bandwidth and trill rate. Our top model predicting bandwidth showed that trill rate and location within the trill were reliable predictors of bandwidth. With trill rate as the response variable, our top model included location within the trill as well as trill duration. We found that there were no important site-level differences in bandwidth but that trill rate varied predictably among sites. Our analyses provide strong evidence for performance constraints in the production of trills in Bornean gibbon females. Further research is needed to determine whether higher-performance trills provide honest signals of caller quality and whether gibbons respond differently to low- and high-performance calls.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T18:29:59Z
       
  • Culture and cultural evolution in birds: a review of the evidence
    • Authors: Lucy M. Aplin
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour
      Author(s): Lucy M. Aplin
      Social learning from the observation of knowledgeable individuals can allow behaviours, skills and techniques to spread across populations and transmit between generations, potentially leading to emergent cultures. An increasing body of research has not only evidenced the occurrence of cultural behaviour in nonhuman animals, but also hypothesized that such cultures could ‘evolve’ over time in a way that shares key characteristics with biological evolution, including through a process of selection on variance, inheritance and adaptation. Outside of humans, song and contact calls in birds provide by far the most comprehensive evidence for culture and cultural evolution. However, birds have often been considered ‘one-trick cultural ponies’, only exhibiting significant diversity in this single component of their behavioural repertoire. Recent studies have begun to challenge this view. Here, I review the evidence across multiple behavioural domains for wild cultures in birds. I then discuss the evidence in birds for four key concepts of cultural evolution: (1) variation, selection, inheritance, (2) adaptation, (3) geographical and demographic processes and (4) the accumulation of modifications. I incorporate the evidence from birdsong with other behavioural domains for each key concept and identify important gaps in knowledge. Finally, I discuss how taking a cultural evolution perspective can be informative for our understanding of cognitive ecology more broadly.

      PubDate: 2018-06-09T18:49:01Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.05.001
       
  • Age-dependent and social status-dependent behavioural plasticity of the
           cricket Gryllus bimaculatus
    • Authors: Toshiki Abe; Naoyuki Fujiyama Hiroshi Tomimatsu Toshiki Nagayama
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Toshiki Abe, Naoyuki Fujiyama, Hiroshi Tomimatsu, Toshiki Nagayama
      Response patterns and underlying neural mechanisms of adaptive behaviours may be similar in different taxa. Among closely related species, this similarity may depend on shared innate motor programs. To test this hypothesis, we analysed the responses of the two-spotted cricket Gryllus bimaculatus to mechanical stimulation of the terminal abdominal appendages (cerci). Final instar juveniles (the last stage of insect larvae) mainly showed escape-like ‘dart’ responses to stimulation, while a defensive response (‘up’, ‘kick’ and ‘turn’ responses) increased in adult crickets. In older adults, the ‘turn’ response, in which animals turned towards the stimulus source and jerked their upper body in a threatening raised posture, became more frequent. Thus, the response patterns of crickets to tactile stimulation of the cerci changed from an escape response to a defensive response depending on age and growth. This behavioural plasticity was also dependent on social status. Paired crickets began fighting within 30s to establish dominance status. Winning juveniles were more likely to show defensive responses and losing adults changed their response from defence to escape. This age- and social status-dependent behavioural plasticity is also observed in crayfish, suggesting a preservation of instinctive behavioural strategies in some arthropods.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
       
  • Mate copying in Drosophila melanogaster males
    • Authors: Sabine Allain; Guillaume Isabel Etienne Danchin
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Sabine Nöbel, Mélanie Allain, Guillaume Isabel, Etienne Danchin
      To assess potential mates' quality individuals can observe sexually interacting conspecifics. Such social information use is called mate copying and occurs when observer individuals witnessing sexual interactions of conspecifics later show a mating preference for mates that were seen mating. Most studies have focused on female mate copying, as females are usually the choosy sex. However, much less is known about the existence of male mate copying, probably because of the usual strong asymmetry in sex roles. Mate copying has been documented in female Drosophila melanogaster, and here we report on experimental evidence for mate copying in males of this species in which females can actively reject males and prevent copulation. As mate choice implies high costs for males we assumed that they perform mate copying as well. We created two artificial female phenotypes by randomly dusting females with green or pink powders, and virgin naïve observer males were given the opportunity to see a demonstrator male choosing between a pink and a green demonstrator female. Immediately afterwards, observer males were given the choice between two new females, one of each colour. To circumvent the difficulty of determining actual male mate preference, we used two complementary indices of male mate choice, both of which provided evidence for male mate copying. Informed observer males showed a bias towards females of the colour they saw being chosen during demonstrations, while uninformed males chose randomly between pink and green females. This suggests that male fruit flies can also perform mate copying. Although significant, our results in males were less clear-cut than in females in previous studies. However, like females, D. melanogaster males can mate copy based on a single observation. The importance and generality of such mate copying abilities in nature, and their potential impact on the evolution of Drosophila and probably other invertebrates, need further exploration.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
       
  • African elephants use plant odours to make foraging decisions across
           multiple spatial scales
    • Authors: Melissa Schmitt; Adam Shuttleworth David Ward Adrian Shrader
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 141
      Author(s): Melissa H. Schmitt, Adam Shuttleworth, David Ward, Adrian M. Shrader
      Mammalian herbivores are known to be extremely selective when foraging, but little is known about the mechanisms governing the selection of patches and, at a finer scale, individual plants. Visual examination and direct sampling of the vegetation have previously been suggested, but olfactory cues have seldom been considered. We examined the use of olfactory cues by foraging African elephants, Loxodonta africana, and asked whether they use plant odours to select specific patches or plants when making feeding decisions. Scent-based choice experiments between various preferred and nonpreferred plants were conducted across two spatial scales (between plants and between patches). We used coupled gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis of headspace extracts of volatile organic compounds emitted by the different plant species to explore similarities among the overall odour profiles of each species. We found that elephants selected their preferred plant species across both spatial scales, probably using differences in plant odour profiles. The ability to differentiate between plant odours allowed elephants to reduce their search time by targeting preferred plant species both within a feeding station and between patches. This suggests that olfactory cues probably play an important role in driving herbivore foraging decisions across multiple spatial scales.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
       
  • Odour recognition learning of multiple predators by amphibian larvae
    • Authors: Tyrone Lucon-Xiccato; Maud C.O. Ferrari Douglas Chivers Angelo Bisazza
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Tyrone Lucon-Xiccato, Maud C.O. Ferrari, Douglas P. Chivers, Angelo Bisazza
      Many aquatic animals learn to recognize novel predators when they simultaneously perceive the odours of these novel threats paired with alarm cues released by injured conspecifics. Since the odours of several organisms may be present simultaneously in the environment during this process, selection is expected to favour learning mechanisms that allow prey to respond independently to the odour of each species in a mixture of odours. We tested this hypothesis by exposing tadpoles of the edible frog, Pelophylax esculentus, to injured conspecific cues paired with either the odour of two fish species (experiment 1) or one fish and one crayfish species (experiment 2). We subsequently tested the ability of tadpoles to respond to each odour separately. We found clear evidence that tadpoles learned to recognize the odour of individual species in the mixture and that the response to each odour of a mixture was equally strong. However, the learned response was weaker overall in tadpoles conditioned with the mixture of fish and crayfish compared to those with the two fish species. Our study reveals that tadpoles can adaptively handle the presence of multiple predator odours in their environment during conditioned learning, but highlights some constraints that may due to the diversity of predators in the mix.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
       
  • The cognition of ‘nuisance’ species
    • Authors: Lisa Barrett; Lauren Stanton Sarah Benson-Amram
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour
      Author(s): Lisa P. Barrett, Lauren Stanton, Sarah Benson-Amram
      Recent work in animal cognition has focused on how animals respond to new or changing environments. Although many species are currently in decline, other species are thriving in human-altered habitats by taking advantage of new resources and opportunities associated with anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, as a result, these same species are often in conflict with humans and treated as a nuisance. Therefore, cognitive abilities such as innovation and behavioural flexibility may, paradoxically, lead to the demise of especially adaptive individuals. Here we review what is known about the cognition of ‘nuisance’ species and ‘problem’ individuals to shed light on the struggles of coexistence with humans along disturbed landscapes. We take an in-depth look at several cognitive abilities that are hypothesized to be of critical importance for species that are successfully utilizing human-altered environments, including neophilia, boldness, categorization, innovation, memory, learning, social learning and behavioural flexibility, and examine evidence that these cognitive abilities may also bring animals into conflict with humans. We also highlight some examples of species that may be using cognitive mechanisms to change their behaviour to avoid conflict with humans. We then discuss the role of animal cognition in current mitigation strategies that have been developed to address human–wildlife conflict. Additionally, we consider the role that human behaviour and perception of animals might play in either worsening or lessening conflict with wildlife. Finally, we propose some directions for future research and suggest that empirical investigation of ‘nuisance’ animal cognition could reveal the cognitive mechanisms underlying adaptation to anthropogenic change as well as help mitigate human–wildlife conflict.

      PubDate: 2018-05-31T19:08:52Z
       
  • Parental phenotype not predator cues influence egg warning coloration and
           defence levels
    • Authors: Sarah Catherine; Paul Martin Stevens Judith Pell Michael Birkett Jonathan
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Sarah Catherine Paul, Martin Stevens, Judith K. Pell, Michael A. Birkett, Jonathan D. Blount
      In species that advertise their toxicity to predators through visual signals, there is considerable variation among individuals in both signal appearance and levels of defence. Parental effects, a type of nongenetic inheritance, may play a key role in creating and maintaining this within-species diversity in aposematic signals; however, a comprehensive test of this notion is lacking. Using the ladybird Adalia bipunctata, we assessed how egg coloration and defence level (concentration of the toxic alkaloid (-)-adaline) is influenced both by simulated predation risk in the egg-laying environment and by parental phenotype (coloration and toxin level). We found that egg toxin level and colour were predicted by parental phenotype but were not altered in response to cues of egg predators. Egg luminance (lightness) was positively correlated with paternal elytral luminance, while maternal toxin level positively predicted egg toxin level. In response to egg predator cues, ladybird mothers altered the timing of laying and total egg number, but not egg toxin level or colour. It appears therefore that in A. bipunctata variation between individuals of the same morph in the colour and toxin level of the eggs they lay, that is, egg aposematic phenotype, is more strongly influenced by individual variation in parental aposematic traits than by environmental cues of egg predation risk. Furthermore, these results provide the first indication that, in a warningly coloured species, male coloration may play a dual role as predator deterrent and indicator of paternal quality, influencing maternal investment in offspring.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T21:00:28Z
       
  • Which male and female characteristics influence the probability of
           extragroup paternities in rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta'
    • Authors: Angelina Ruiz-Lambides; Brigitte Lars Kulik Anja Widdig
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Angelina V. Ruiz-Lambides, Brigitte M. Weiß, Lars Kulik, Anja Widdig
      Extragroup paternity (EGP) is found across a wide range of species and may entail reproductive benefits, but may also entail costs to both sexes. While population and group parameters affecting the degree of EGPs are relatively well established, less is known about the individual characteristics that make males and females engage in alternative reproductive tactics such as EGP. Applying a combination of long-term demographic and genetic data from the rhesus macaque population of Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico, U.S.A.), we investigate which male and female characteristics influence the probability of EGP to better understand the circumstances that shape the distribution and occurrence of EGP. Our results show that, against our expectations, higher-ranking females were more likely to produce EGP offspring than lower-ranking females. The probability of producing extragroup offspring was not significantly related to female or male age, male tenure or previous reproductive success. Furthermore, genetic relatedness between the parents did not affect the production of extragroup offspring, but extragroup offspring were more frequently produced early rather than late in a given mating season. Altogether, our analysis suggests that individual attributes and seasonal aspects create different opportunities and preferences for engaging in EGP as an alternative reproductive tactic. The observed patterns of EGP in rhesus macaques appear to be consistent with female mate choice for genetic benefits, which needs to be confirmed in future studies.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • Effects of air temperature on habitat selection and activity patterns of
           two tropical imperfect homeotherms
    • Authors: Nina Attias; Luiz Gustavo Rodrigues Oliveira-Santos William Fagan Guilherme
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Nina Attias, Luiz Gustavo Rodrigues Oliveira-Santos, William F. Fagan, Guilherme Mourão
      In this study, we aimed to evaluate how air temperature is related to variation in activity patterns and habitat selection by two species of tropical armadillos, which are imperfect homeotherms. Although their behaviour is little studied, armadillos provide valuable models for understanding how physiology affects mammalian behaviour in response to environmental changes. We used GPS devices to track yellow armadillos, Euphractus sexcinctus, and southern three-banded armadillos, Tolypeutes matacus, at three sites of the Pantanal wetlands, Brazil. We used linear mixed-effects models to evaluate the variation in the timing and duration of activity patterns according to changes in air temperature. We fitted step selection functions to evaluate the effects of cover type, diel cycle and air temperature on armadillo habitat selection. Our models suggest that E. sexcinctus activity during the daytime decreases as air temperature increases. In contrast, T. matacus shows less variation, maintaining a predominantly nocturnal activity pattern. However, as air temperature decreases, activity periods of T. matacus are of shorter duration and peak earlier in the day. Both species should select forested areas when experiencing air temperatures outside their thermoneutral zones, as these areas act as thermal shelters. This study provides specific examples of the dynamic nature of activity patterns and habitat selection, and illustrates how thermal constraints, which vary dynamically over the daily cycle and among days, can alter behaviour. Our results highlight the importance of habitat heterogeneity for the long-term conservation of animal species that rely on behaviour to achieve adequate thermoregulation.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • An immune challenge reduces social grooming in vampire bats
    • Authors: Sebastian Stockmaier; Daniel Bolnick Rachel Gerald Carter
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Sebastian Stockmaier, Daniel I. Bolnick, Rachel A. Page, Gerald G. Carter
      Social interactions affect the transmission of many pathogens, but infections often induce sickness behaviours that alter those interactions. Vampire bats are highly mobile and social, engaging in frequent allogrooming, which is likely to facilitate pathogen spread. Sickness behaviour is known to reduce social associations, but the effect on physical interactions between associated individuals, such as grooming, is less understood. Here, we tested the effects of induced sickness behaviour on allogrooming in vampire bats, while holding association between individuals in groups constant. To experimentally induce sickness behaviour, we used injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and saline controls in 13 female common vampire bats, Desmodus rotundus, housed in stable groups of two to four adult bats. LPS injection induced an immune response that mimicked illness. Circulating leukocytes and neutrophil:lymphocyte ratios increased, while body mass and activity decreased. While LPS-injected bats did not receive less grooming from their group mates, they dramatically reduced the amount that they groomed their partners. This reduction in social interactions illustrates that sickness behaviour can potentially change transmission rates by altering directed behaviours, even under conditions of constant close proximity. The ability to manipulate social behaviours under controlled conditions should also prove useful for experiments attempting to test mechanisms underlying cooperation.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • Caste-dependent brood retrieval by workers in the ant Formica exsecta
    • Authors: Unni Pulliainen; Nick Bos Patrizia dEttorre Liselotte
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Unni Pulliainen, Nick Bos, Patrizia d'Ettorre, Liselotte Sundström
      The ability to distinguish friends from foe is a widespread phenomenon among social animals. In ants, recognition of intruders is important for the maintenance of colony integrity and survival. Intruders are typically adult, but the acceptance of non-nestmate brood could result in severe fitness costs, depending on the caste of the brood. Accepting non-nestmate worker brood may not carry a cost, as they should not drain resources of the adoptive colony but may instead add to the workforce. Sexual brood, however, would typically not contribute to colony performance, yet require resources, and should thus be rejected. Here, we tested whether workers of the narrow-headed ant, Formica exsecta, which strongly discriminate between adult nestmates and non-nestmates, also discriminate between nestmate and non-nestmate pupae. Furthermore, we investigated whether the caste of the brood (workers/sexuals) affects discrimination. We carried out analysis of surface chemicals to investigate whether the chemical distance between colonies was associated with the propensity to accept non-nestmate pupae. We show that worker pupae were retrieved irrespective of their origin, whereas nestmate sexual pupae were retrieved at a slightly higher rate than non-nestmates. Our chemical data, however, suggest that both the reproductive and the worker brood carry sufficient chemical information for discrimination, as they both express colony signatures. However, this information is acted upon only in the case of sexual brood. Our results thus suggest that workers selectively capitalize on the chemical information in agreement with fitness predictions, albeit to a lower extent than during discrimination between adult individuals.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • Assessing the similarity of song-type transitions among birds: evidence
           for interspecies variation
    • Authors: Richard Hedley; David Logue Lauryn Benedict Daniel Mennill
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Richard W. Hedley, David M. Logue, Lauryn Benedict, Daniel J. Mennill
      In many species of songbird, individuals sing multiple song types, some of which are shared with their neighbours. Individuals may also share syntactical rules that govern the transitions between different song types, but few studies have attempted to study this kind of sharing. Progress has been inhibited by a lack of statistical tools to compare song-type transitions among individuals. We present a straightforward method for comparing song transitions based on Markov transition matrices. The method calculates the number of mutually preferred song-type-to-different-song-type transitions found in the song sequences of two birds, then assesses whether that number is significantly greater than would be expected if the two birds ordered their songs independently of one another. We applied this method to song sequences from five songbird species. All pairwise comparisons among male Cassin's vireos, Vireo cassinii, showed significant similarity in song transitions, as did a minority of comparisons among Adelaide's warblers, Setophaga adelaidae, and one pair of marsh wrens, Cistothorus palustris. In contrast, dyads of rock wrens, Salpinctes obsoletus, and rufous-and-white wrens, Thryophilus rufalbus, did not share song-type transitions at levels exceeding chance. Interterritory distance was not significantly related to our measure of song transition similarity in any of our study species. These results provide evidence that interindividual similarity in song-type transitions is a trait that varies considerably among species. We discuss the potential drivers of similarity in song transitions, but note that assessing its evolutionary breadth will require a larger sample of species. The application of our method to additional species will provide a more comprehensive understanding of signal use and vocal interaction in songbirds.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • Sexual conflict does not maintain female colour polymorphism in a
           territorial damselfly
    • Authors: Phoebe Cook; Rebecca Rasmussen Jonathan Brown Idelle Cooper
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140
      Author(s): Phoebe Cook, Rebecca Rasmussen, Jonathan M. Brown, Idelle A. Cooper
      Female-limited dimorphism is commonly hypothesized to be an adaptation resulting from male harassment or sexual conflict over female mating rate. We examined whether males discriminate between female colour morphs of the beautiful Hawaiian damselfly, Megalagrion calliphya, in order to evaluate whether male harassment could explain the existence and/or maintenance of this dimorphism. Previous studies of this species suggest that spatially varying ecological selection maintains the dimorphism, but these hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. Here, we used a common method of measuring male behaviour towards secured females at mating sites under naturally occurring conditions, using five populations that range in male-like female morph frequency from 0 to 0.86. We found very low rates of interaction in a total of 64 one-hour trials, and male behaviour towards females did not differ significantly between colour morphs. By comparing the populations that vary in female morph frequency, we found no evidence of frequency-dependent sexual selection on colour, suggesting that this polymorphism is maintained by selective forces other than sexual conflict.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
       
  • ‘Crazy love’: nonlinearity and irrationality in mate choice
    • Authors: Michael J. Ryan; Rachel A. Page; Kimberly L. Hunter; Ryan C. Taylor
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour
      Author(s): Michael J. Ryan, Rachel A. Page, Kimberly L. Hunter, Ryan C. Taylor
      Choosing a mate is one of the most important decisions an animal can make. The fitness consequences of mate choice have been analysed extensively, and its mechanistic bases have provided insights into how animals make such decisions. Less attention has been given to higher-level cognitive processes. The assumption that animals choose mates predictably and rationally is an important assumption in both ultimate and proximate analyses of mate choice. It is becoming clear, however, that irrational decisions and unpredictable nonlinearities often characterize mate choice. Here we review studies in which cognitive analyses seem to play an important role in the following contexts: auditory grouping; Weber's law; competitive decoys; multimodal communication; and, perceptual rescue. The sum of these studies suggest that mate choice decisions are more complex than they might seem and suggest some caution in making assumptions about evolutionary processes and simplistic mechanisms of mate choice.

      PubDate: 2018-05-24T20:57:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.004
       
  • Editors Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139


      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
       
  • Association Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 139


      PubDate: 2018-05-16T20:47:32Z
       
 
 
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