Chemical analysis reveals sex differences in the preen gland secretion of breeding Blue Tits

Barbara A. Caspers*, Reinaldo Marfull, Tim Dannenhaus, Jan Komdeur, Peter Korsten

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)

Samenvatting

Acoustic and visual signals are well known to play important roles in social communication in birds. Growing evidence suggests that many bird species, including species of songbirds, additionally have a well-developed sense of smell. However, we are still at the beginning of understanding the potential importance of chemical communication in the social lives of birds, for example in mate choice. The secretion of the preen gland may be an important contributor to the chemical phenotype of birds. Here, we report on a first characterisation of the chemical composition of the preen gland secretion of the Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a common songbird which is an often used model species in animal behaviour and ecology, in particular also in studies of sexual selection and (extra-pair) mate choice. We found sex differences in the composition of the preen gland secretion in breeding Blue Tits. Females further tended to have a larger number of putative compounds in their secretions compared to males. We briefly discuss the possible implications of these findings and speculate that the chemical composition of the preen gland secretion may be a sexually selected trait in Blue Tits. Our preliminary findings warrant follow-up research into the patterns of within- and among individual variation in the chemical composition of the preen gland secretion as well as the identification of the main chemical compounds involved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)191-198
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of Ornithology
Volume163
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - jan.-2022

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