Duetting behavior varies with sex, season, and singing role in a tropical oriole (Icterus icterus)
Links to Fileshttps://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/28/5/1256/4080645
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work10 pages
Citation of Original PublicationKaran J Odom, David M Logue, Colin E Studds, Michelle K Monroe, Susanna K Campbell, Kevin E Omland, Duetting behavior varies with sex, season, and singing role in a tropical oriole (Icterus icterus), Behavioral Ecology, Volume 28, Issue 5, 1 September 2017, Pages 1256–1265, https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx087
RightsThis item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
Females and males of many animals combine their vocalizations into coordinated acoustic duets. Duets can mediate both cooperation and conflict between partners, and are common in tropical, sedentary species that may use duets for multiple functions year-round. To elucidate the full range of duet functions, we need to study the individual-level behaviors that generate duets throughout the year. We evaluated multiple functions of duetting behavior in female and male Venezuelan troupials (Icterus icterus) during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, including territory defense, maintaining contact with a mate, and paternity guarding. In both sexes during both seasons, song initiation rates were predicted by conspecific solo and duet rates. However, troupials were more likely to answer their mate to form duets after conspecific duets than after conspecific solos, supporting a territory defense function of duets. Troupials that answered their mate to form duets were also more likely to move toward their mate (than duet initiators and soloists), suggesting that duet participation also functions to maintain contact. During the breeding season, males were particularly likely to fly toward their mate after answering to form a duet. This finding may indicate that males answer to guard paternity, although other predictions of paternity guarding were not supported. Examining individual-level behaviors during both the breeding and nonbreeding season revealed multiple functions of troupial duets. Our results are consistent with social selection acting on females and males to maintain contact and territories year-round, and possibly sexual selection on males for functions tied to the breeding season.