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Cryptic gentes revealed in pallid cuckoos Cuculus pallidus using reflectance spectrophotometry

Starling, M.; Heinsohn, Robert; Cockburn, Andrew; Langmore, Naomi

Description

Many cuckoo species lay eggs that match those of their hosts, which can significantly reduce rejection of their eggs by the host species. However, egg mimicry is problematic for generalist cuckoos that parasitize several host species with different egg types. Some generalist cuckoos have overcome this problem by evolving several host-specific races (gentes), each with its own, host-specific egg type. It is unknown how generalist cuckoos lacking gentes are able to avoid egg rejection by hosts....[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorStarling, M.
dc.contributor.authorHeinsohn, Robert
dc.contributor.authorCockburn, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorLangmore, Naomi
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T23:03:48Z
dc.identifier.issn0962-8452
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/85088
dc.description.abstractMany cuckoo species lay eggs that match those of their hosts, which can significantly reduce rejection of their eggs by the host species. However, egg mimicry is problematic for generalist cuckoos that parasitize several host species with different egg types. Some generalist cuckoos have overcome this problem by evolving several host-specific races (gentes), each with its own, host-specific egg type. It is unknown how generalist cuckoos lacking gentes are able to avoid egg rejection by hosts. Here we use reflectance spectrophotometry (300-700 nm) on museum egg collections to test for host-specific egg types in an Australian generalist cuckoo reported to have a single egg type. We show that the colour of pallid cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus) eggs differed between four host species, and that their eggs closely mimicked the eggs of the host they parasitized. These results reveal that pallid cuckoos have host-specific egg types that have not been detected by human observation, and indicate that gentes could be more common than previously realized.
dc.publisherRoyal Society of London
dc.sourceProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
dc.subjectKeywords: bird; brood parasitism; coevolution; egg; host specificity; reflectance; spectrophotometry; animal experiment; article; bird; brood parasite; brood parasitism; controlled study; Cuculus pallidus; egg laying; host; host range; nonhuman; principal component Brood parasitism; Coevolution; Egg mimicry; Gentes; Spectrophotometry
dc.titleCryptic gentes revealed in pallid cuckoos Cuculus pallidus using reflectance spectrophotometry
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume273
dc.date.issued2006
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub13294
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationStarling, M., College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHeinsohn, Robert, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCockburn, Andrew, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLangmore, Naomi, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1929
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1934
local.identifier.doi10.1098/rspb.2006.3490
dc.date.updated2015-12-12T07:51:30Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-34250681713
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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