Authors
  • Neville, Kate J.
  • Vallender, Rachel
  • Robertson, Raleigh J.

Summary

Sex ratio biases in avian species remain controversial, although several studies have documented apparent facultative adjustment of offspring sex ratios. While hybridizing pied and collared flycatchers have exhibited sex ratio skews that may be a response to sex‐based costs associated with hybridization, this appears not to be true of a hybridized population of blue‐winged Vermivora pinus and golden‐winged V. chrysopterawarblers. We examined the primary sex ratio of nestlings in a population of hybrid and introgressed golden‐winged warblers. The sex ratio of 298 nestlings from 81 nests in the population was approximately 50:50. We conducted paternity assignments and analyzed groups of nestlings with shared genetic parents (“genetic broods”) and found no difference from the expected binomial distribution, and no statistically significant relationship between parental species phenotype and nestling sex ratio. We saw no evidence of preferential production of male or female nestlings, and female hybrids were found to mate and breed in the population. This suggests that heterogametic (female) hybrids are both viable and fertile, and thus that Haldane's Rule does not apply to this system. While populations of hybridizing golden‐winged warblers should be monitored for evidence of costs of heterospecific pairings, it is unlikely that adjustment of sex ratios would be the form of compensation for sub‐optimal mating conditions. Our results provide support for the emerging hypothesis that hybrids suffer no disadvantage relative to golden‐winged and blue‐winged warblers.

Location