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Male Activity and Female Mate Acceptance in the Mallard (Anas Platyrhynchos)

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This paper examines pair formation in wild and domesticated white mallard females in relation to differences in male courtship pressure. By rearing males of both strains with wild or white females, adult females of each strain could be confronted with courting males of the own or opposite strain. As almost all females paired with males courting them most intensively, regardless the colour type of the males, it is concluded that directed male activity is a more important factor for female mate acceptance than male plumage colouration. The implications of this finding for the interpretation of previous work on factors involved in mate selection by mallard females (SCHUTZ, 1965; KLINT, 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1980) are discussed.


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Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


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