Shouting for sex: males compete for females in Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus – (Latham, 1790))

Yesterday, July 3rd, 2011, Me and one of my friend were as usual out for some photography. Although weather was not that favorable ‘coz of cloudy sky.

We came across a small lake near town…It was full of Jacanas ( Bronz-winged and Pheasant-tailed)..we set ourselves near the bund and tried to capture some..but light was not in our favour.

But we observed typical mate guarding by Jacanas.

In Jacanas sex-role are reversed and they show high degree of polyandry. In the field of behavioural ecology polyandry is a type of breeding adaptation in which one female mates with many males.

Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)

Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus – (Latham, 1790)) females copulate with multiple male mates before laying each clutch. These males may be unable to attempt to maximize their share of copulations by mate guarding or forcing copulations. Instead, males in polyandrous harems may compete for sexual access to the female by giving a call, termed the ‘yell’, to attract her. Male bronze-winged jacanas, yelled at higher rates in larger harems, and when the female was further from the yeller or on a comate’s territory. Males that received the clutch yelled at lower rates during the incubation and chick care periods. Yells attracted the female when she was far from the yeller or with a comate. When the yell of a polyandrous male was broadcast from his territory, the female was more likely to fly to his territory during playback than during control periods. Within polyandrous harems the males that yelled at the highest rates received the most copulations, so females may use yells to assess male quality.

Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus – (Latham, 1790))

Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus – (Scopoli, 1786))

Further Reading:

  • Art, S. H. M. B. (2000). “Population structure and breeding system of the sex-role reversed, polyandrous Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus.” Ibis 142(1): 93-102.
  • Betts, B. J. and D. A. Jenni (1991). “Time Budgets and the Adaptiveness of Polyandry in Northern Jacanas.” The Wilson Bulletin 103(4): 578-597.
  • Butchart, S. H. M., N. Seddon, et al. (1999). “Yelling for sex: harem males compete for female access in bronze-winged jacanas.” Animal Behaviour 57(3): 637-646.
  • Davies, N. B. (1989). “Sexual conflict and the polygamy threshold.” Animal Behaviour 38(2): 226-234.
  • Emlen, S. T. and P. H. Wrege (2004). “Division of labour in parental care behaviour of a sex-role-reversed shorebird, the wattled jacana.” Animal Behaviour 68(4): 847-855.
  • Emlen, S. T. and P. H. Wrege (2004). “Size Dimorphism, Intrasexual Competition, and Sexual Section in Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana), a Sex-Role-Reversed Shorebird in Panama.” The Auk 121(2): 391-403.
  • Jenni, D. A. and B. J. Betts (1978). “Sex differences in nest construction, incubation, and parental behaviour in the polyandrous American jaçana (Jacana spinosa).” Animal Behaviour 26(Part 1): 207-218.
  • Jenni, D. A. and G. Collier (1972). “Polyandry in the American Jaçana (Jacana spinosa).” The Auk 89(4): 743-765.
  • Kålås, J. A. and I. Byrkjedal (1984). “Breeding Chronology and Mating System of the Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus).” The Auk 101(4): 838-847.
  • Kistchinski, A. A. (1975). “BREEDING BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR OF THE GREY PHALAROPE PHALAROPUS FULCARIUS IN EAST SIBERIA.” Ibis 117(3): 285-301.
  • Lessells, C. M. (1984). “The mating system of Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus.” Ibis 126(4): 474-483.
  • Osborne, D. R. (1982). “Replacement Nesting and Polyandry in the Wattled Jacana.” The Wilson Bulletin 94(2): 206-208.
  • Paton, P. W. C., F. J. Messina, et al. (1994). “A Phylogenetic Approach to Reversed Size Dimorphism in Diurnal Raptors.” Oikos 71(3): 492-498.
  • Reynolds, J. D. (1987). “Mating system and nesting biology of the Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus: what constrains polyandry?” Ibis 129: 225-242.
  • Skutch, A. F. (1957). “THE INCUBATION PATTERNS OF BIRDS.” Ibis 99(1): 69-93.
  • Stephens, M. L. (1982). “Mate takeover and possible infanticide by a female Northern jacana (Jacana spinosa).” Animal Behaviour 30(4): 1253-1254.
  • Tarboton, W. R. and C. H. Fry (1986). “BREEDING AND OTHER BEHAVIOUR OF THE LESSER JACANA.” Ostrich 57(4): 233-243.
  • Tareloton, W. R. (1995). “POLYANDRY IN THE AFRICAN JACANA: THE ROLES OF MALE DOMINANCE AND RATE OF CLUTCH LOSS.” Ostrich 66(2-3): 49-60.
  • Ward, D. (2000). “Do polyandrous shorebirds trade off egg size with egg number?” Journal of Avian Biology 31(4): 473-478.
  • Whittingham, L. A., F. H. Sheldon, et al. (2000). “Molecular Phylogeny of Jacanas and Its Implications for Morphologic and Biogeographic Evolution.” The Auk 117(1): 22-32.