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When and from whom do female pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) solicit copulations

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[We studied female copulation solicitation in the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca in aviaries where the two sexes were physically separated by nylon netting so that the males could not mount the females. This allowed testing the separate initiatives of the females. A female could choose between two males of different plumage colour and mating status with regard to where to build a nest and where to solicit copulation. Female solicitation display peaked between Day −2 and Day 0 in relation to time of egg laying. First solicitation during the day was on average at 0342 hours, about 30 min after sunrise, with most solicitation at about 0430 hours. The proportion of extra-pair solicitation (EPS) of total time spent soliciting was high (43%) and perhaps caused by failure of females to copulate successfully with own mate. Females who chose a polygynous male had a significantly higher proportion of EPS than females who chose a monogamous male. No relationship was found between solicitation and male plumage colour. The study suggests that the threshold for females of seeking extra-pair copulation is low if own mate is not available for successful copulation., We studied female copulation solicitation in the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca in aviaries where the two sexes were physically separated by nylon netting so that the males could not mount the females. This allowed testing the separate initiatives of the females. A female could choose between two males of different plumage colour and mating status with regard to where to build a nest and where to solicit copulation. Female solicitation display peaked between Day −2 and Day 0 in relation to time of egg laying. First solicitation during the day was on average at 0342 hours, about 30 min after sunrise, with most solicitation at about 0430 hours. The proportion of extra-pair solicitation (EPS) of total time spent soliciting was high (43%) and perhaps caused by failure of females to copulate successfully with own mate. Females who chose a polygynous male had a significantly higher proportion of EPS than females who chose a monogamous male. No relationship was found between solicitation and male plumage colour. The study suggests that the threshold for females of seeking extra-pair copulation is low if own mate is not available for successful copulation.]

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