Female extra-pair behavior is not associated with reduced paternal care in Thorn-tailed Rayadito
Poblete, Yanina et al. (2022), Female extra-pair behavior is not associated with reduced paternal care in Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hhmgqnkg3
Extra-pair behavior is present in 76% of socially monogamous bird species with biparental care. This behavior may produce costs to females related to a reduction in paternal care. We estimated the percentage of extra-pair offspring and quantified paternal care in 44 nests of Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) to assess whether males reduce their parental care when females obtain extra-pair fertilizations. We used data from a sub-Antarctic population of Rayadito located on Navarino Island (55°4′S, 67°40′W), southern Chile. We found no statistical support for a relationship between variation in paternal care and the percentage of extra-pair offspring. We discuss how the inability of breeding males to assess their genetic paternity and potential restrictions on behavioral flexibility may explain this result. Additionally, if paternal care is subjected to sexual selection, this could limit a facultative response to female extra-pair behavior by males. Finally, it is possible that a reduction in paternal care might not have evolved in this particular locality given the low frequency of extra-pair paternity in our study population.