Plumage brightness predicts male mating success in the lekking golden-collared manakin, Manacus vitellinus

Adam C. Stein, J. Albert C. Uy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The evolution of colorful plumage has been dramatic in lekking species. Several studies show that the size of colorful traits influence female choice in leks; however, relatively little is known about the specific function of color, in particular its spectral properties, in lekking taxa. To determine the importance of color in a lekking species, we monitored the mating success of male golden-collared manakins, Manacus vitellinus, and related this to spectral measures of their colorful plumage, as well as other morphological and behavioral traits shown to be important in other lekking species. We found that lek centrality, male body size, and plumage brightness were associated with male mating success. Only plumage brightness, however, entered a multiple regression model, indicating that plumage is the overall best predictor of mating success. These results provide evidence that the spectral properties of colorful plumage predict male mating success in a lekking species and provide important insight into why many lekking birds are dichromatic and elaborate in coloration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Leks
  • Manacus
  • Manakins
  • Plumage
  • Sexual selection
  • Visual signals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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