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Behavioural detection of hybrids in quail


Many cases of introgressive hybridization were observed among birds, in particular following the introduction of animals belonging to a taxon close to an indigenous species in the environment. This seems to be the case for the European quail, Coturnix coturnix coturnix whose populations are artificially put in contact with the Japanese quail C. c. japonica, mainly further to illegal releases of breeding animals for hunting. We investigated the presence of hybrids in France during the sexual phase using an ethological trait: the sexual crow. The European quail utters two types of sexual crow while the Japanese quail utters only one type. Hybrids can utter parental types of mating calls as intermediate structures of mating calls. In the field, the mating call was studied from recordings carried out. Out of the 28 recorded birds, 5 individuals presented differences compared to the crow awaited from the common quail. This analysis could let suppose the presence of males, potentially hybrid and seeking to reproduce, within the natural populations. Our study confirms that both quail taxa, very close genetically, can hybridize in nature. This introgression is known as having morphological and behavioral consequences, in particular with the loss of the migratory behavior. It confirms the importance of the fight against the Japanese or hybrid quail releases in order to preserve the genetic integrity of the European quail.
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Dates and versions

hal-01354813 , version 1 (19-08-2016)


  • HAL Id : hal-01354813 , version 1


Sophie Lumineau, Francis Minvielle, Olympe Chazara, Denis Roux, Jean-Marie Boutin, et al.. Behavioural detection of hybrids in quail. Behavior 2009 - 31st International Ethological Conference, Aug 2009, Rennes, France. ⟨hal-01354813⟩
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