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Wire-tailed Manakin Research

Wire-tailed manakins are a fascinating species of passerine bird found in the Amazon Rainforest. Like many other species of manakins in the family Pipridae, wire-tailed manakins perform acrobatic courtship displays for females. I consider the manakins to be the gymnasts of the bird world because females are thought to judge males based on their ability to perform complex, metabolically-demanding maneuvers. Wire-tailed manakins are especially interesting because of the complex social networks formed between males.


Males perform coordinated displays and these displays form the basis of long-term coalition partnerships between unrelated individuals. Males also exhibit consistent differences in the number of coalition partners and the frequency with which they interact with their partners. Male social behavior is important. More social males have a higher probability of becoming a territory-holder and, among territory-holders, also exhibit higher reproductive success. My collaborators and I use integrative approaches to understand the causes and consequences of variation in male behavior. 

Related Publications
Vernasco, B.J., Dakin, R., Majer, A.D., Haussmann, M.F., Brandt Ryder, T., Moore, I.T., 2020. Longitudinal dynamics and behavioural correlates of telomeres in male wire‐tailed manakins. Funct. Ecol. 1365-2435.13715. Link to Paper
Dakin, R., Moore, I.T., Horton, B.M., Vernasco, B.J., Ryder, T.B., 2020. Testosterone‐mediated behavior shapes the emergent properties of social networks. J. Anim. Ecol. 1365-2656.13305. Link to Paper
Vernasco, B.J., Moore, I.T., 2020. Testosterone as a mediator of the tradeoff between cooperation and competition in the context of cooperative reproductive behaviors. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 288, 113369. Link to Paper
Vernasco, B.J., Horton, B.M., Moore, I.T., Ryder, T.B., 2020. Reduced cooperative behavior as a cost of high testosterone in a lekking passerine bird. Behav. Ecol. 31, 401–410. Link to Paper
Ryder, T.B., Dakin, R., Vernasco, B.J., Evans, B.S., Horton, B.M., Moore, I.T., 2020. Testosterone Modulates Status-Specific Patterns of Cooperation in a Social Network. Am. Nat. 195, 82–94. Link to Paper
Vernasco, B.J., Horton, B.M., Ryder, T.B., Moore, I.T., 2019. Sampling baseline androgens in free-living passerines: Methodological considerations and solutions. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 273, 202–208. Link to Paper
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