Hormonal changes associated with natural and manipulated incubation in the sex-role reversed Wilson's phalarope

Lewis W. Oring, Albert J. Fivizzani, Mark A. Colwell, Mohamed E. El Halawani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wilson's phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) is characterized by intense female intrasexual competition and exclusive male parental care. Females occasionally are polyandrous and no territories are defended. Prolactin (Prl) and testosterone (T) were analyzed from plasma samples obtained from individuals of different reproductive stages. Males tended to have higher plasma Prl levels than females throughout the breeding season. Prolactin levels of males declined posthatch, reaching baseline levels when chicks were approximately 9 days old-the time when chicks approach thermal independence and brooding is minimal. Testosterone levels dropped at the onset of incubation and remained low through the brooding period. Eggs were manipulated such that some males incubated clutches for shortened periods, others for extended periods. Regardless of the length of incubation, Prl levels were determined primarily by environmental events, i.e., incubation, hatching, and brooding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1988

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