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Convergent evolution of red carotenoid coloration in widowbirds and bishops (Euplectes spp.)

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Maria Prager
Staffan Andersson
Publicerad i Evolution
Volym 64
Nummer/häfte 12
Sidor 3609-3619
ISSN 0014-3820
Publiceringsår 2010
Publicerad vid Zoologiska institutionen
Sidor 3609-3619
Språk en
Länkar onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111...
Ämnesord Honest signaling, maximum likelihood, Ploceidae, Ploceinae, spectral reflectance, stochastic character mapping
Ämneskategorier Etologi och beteendeekologi, Biologisk systematik

Sammanfattning

Avian carotenoid-based signals are classic examples of sexually selected, condition-dependent threat displays or mate choice cues. In many species, male dominance or mating success is associated with redder (i.e., longer wavelength) color hues, suggesting that red colors are either more efficient or more reliable signals than yellow colors. Few studies, however, have investigated selection for redness in a macroevolutionary context. Here, we phylogenetically reconstruct the evolution of carotenoid coloration in the African widowbirds and bishops (Euplectes spp.), for which agonistic selection for redder hues, as well as pigmentary mechanisms, is well documented. Using reflectance spectrometry for objective color quantification, and accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty, we find that yellow plumage color is a retained ancestral state in Euplectes, and that red color hues have convergently evolved two or three times. Results are discussed in relation to a known diversity in pigment mechanisms, supporting independent origins of red color, and suggesting that agonistic selection and physiological constraints have interacted to generate color diversity in Euplectes.

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