Social Influences on the Mate Choices of Male and Female Japanese Quail
by Bennett G. Galef Jr.,
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For the last decade, Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) have served as subjects in an extended series of studies of social influences on reproductive behavior. The results of those studies are summarized here. Females prefer to affiliate with males that they have seen courting and mating, whereas males avoid females that they have seen courting and mating, and both males and females prefer to copulate with the same individuals with whom they prefer to affiliate. Further, females lay more fertilized eggs after mating with a male they have seen mate with another female than after mating with a male they did not watch while he mated. Female quail’s preferences among males are also affected by observation of males’ aggressive interactions, with virgin females preferring dominant males and sexually experienced females preferring subordinates. Evidence is provided suggesting that: (1) responses of quail to observation of a member of the opposite sex mating is an adaptive specialization of information processing systems involved in quail social learning and (2) mate-choice copying in quail can influence the evolution of male secondary sexual characteristics.
Keywords: Japanese quail, reproductive behavior, mate choice, observational learning, video-to-objects, adaptive value of social learning
Galef, B. G. Jr. (2008). Social Influences on the Mate Choices of Male and Female Japanese Quail. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 3, 1-12. Retrieved from https://comparative-cognition-and-behavior-reviews.org/ doi:10.3819/ccbr.2008.30001