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Data from: Reduced sexual dichromatism, mutual ornamentation, and individual quality in the monogamous Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita

Citation

Quinard, Aurélie et al. (2016), Data from: Reduced sexual dichromatism, mutual ornamentation, and individual quality in the monogamous Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7120d

Abstract

Although variation in plumage coloration is known to occur both between and within sexes, its study remains limited to a few bird families. The Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita, is a socially monogamous tropical columbid bird species, characterized by an overall cinnamon-brownish plumage and structural colorations on the head and neck. The species has been described as sexually dichromatic for plumage, although color differences between males and females are not obvious in the field. We investigated variation in the presumably melanin-based color of the crown, mantle, breast, and belly, in the iridescent dark-blue streaks on the head, and in the symmetric iridescent patches on the neck, over the whole spectrum visible to birds. Further, unlike most previous studies, we assessed covariation between plumage color and phenotypic traits in both males and females in relation to the putative signaling function of ornaments. Zenaida doves appeared to be slightly sexually dichromatic for the hue of pigment-based colored areas, with males being on average more reddish than females. However, this difference was not discernible when considering the avian visual system. Conversely, although the reflectance spectra of iridescent plumage did not significantly differ between sexes in brightness, chroma or spectral position of the peaks, color discrimination analyses showed that individuals should be able to perceive between- or within-sex differences in the color of the iridescent patch. In addition, several color parameters of brown and iridescent feathers were significantly related to territorial status, body condition, wing chord, and, albeit weakly, to individual multilocus heterozygosity. Overall, our results thus suggest that plumage color might be a reliable signal of quality in individuals of both sexes in this species. Further studies are needed to test the potential implication of plumage coloration in mate choice and mating patterns in the Zenaida Dove.

Usage Notes

Location

Barbados island