Behaviour 2019
Does Male Mate Choice Occur in a Lekking Species When Multiple Females Are Present?
Carla C. Vanderbilt1,2, Emily H. DuVal1. 1Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, United States; 2University of Pikeville, Pikeville, KY, United States

Mate choice on leks is usually assumed to be driven by choosy females. When multiple females attend a male’s displays at the same time, male mate choice may also play a role if males direct their attention to single females within the group. Yet, male mate choice in lekking species is rarely considered. We tested the hypothesis that male mate choice occurs in the Lance-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) by testing whether males displaying for multiple females were more likely to mate with (1) females of a particular age group (i.e. young or old), and/or (2) the first female to arrive at the display perch. We recorded courtship activity using video at 12 display perches each year in a long-term study population for 1.5 - 2 months during two breeding seasons. Males were not more likely to copulate on the basis of female age (Paired t-test, N = 22 displays with >1 female present that ended in copulation and all individuals fully identified), but were more likely to mate with the first female to arrive on the display perch rather than the second (Binomial exact test). Future research will investigate the possibility of female-female competition during these multi-female displays.