Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Two pieces of information in a single trait? The yellow breast of the great tit (Parus major) reflects both pigment acquisition and body condition

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Behaviour

Carotenoid-based plumage coloration has been shown to be dependent both on pigment content and feather structure. Against this background, we predict a relationship between feather pigment content and plumage hue. Furthermore, given the susceptibility of chroma to developmental perturbation of feather structure, we predict body condition to be related to chroma. We tested these predictions in the great tit, Parus major. Carotenoid content in yellow breast feathers was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Lutein was the main carotenoid contained in great tit feathers, followed by zeaxanthin. The hue of the feathers was accurately predicted from their lutein concentration, and chroma was predicted from the body condition value. Our data suggest that plumage coloration in the great tit could independently provide information on the ability of the signaller to collect carotenoids (via hue) and body condition (via chroma). Published results both from the great tit and other species support this view.


Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Unidad Asociada de Ecología Evolutiva y de la Conducta, CSIC, Museu Ciencies Naturals, Pº Picasso s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; 2: Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Avda Mª Luisa s/n, 41013 Seville, Spain; 3: Instituto de la Grasa, Food Biotechnology Department, CSIC, Avda Padre García Tejero 4, 41012 Seville, Spain


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation