Males often continuously emit vocalizations during the breeding season that attract female mates. They can also emit calls that are specifically associated with copulations but the function of these copulation calls is often unknown. We explored the function of male copulation calls in wild and captive peafowl ( Pavo cristatus ) to test whether these calls attract female mating partners. By broadcasting male copulation calls, we assessed whether these playbacks affected female behavior. Females approached and spent more time near the speaker in response to copulation playback trials compared to control trials (no sound broadcast) in the wild and compared to control trials (American crow ( Corvus brachyrhynchos ) calls broadcast) in captivity. Our results, therefore, suggest that peacock copulation calls function to attract additional female mating partners. Because peafowl live in habitats with dense vegetation, loud copulation calls may help females locate potential mates.
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Keywords: acoustic communication; copulation calls; mate choice; Pavo cristatus