Springer-Verlag 2002

Original Article

Vocal signals, isolation and hybridization in the vinaceous dove (Streptopelia vinacea) and the ring-necked dove (S. capicola)

Selvino R. de Kort1, Paula M. den Hartog1 and Carel ten Cate1


Behavioural Biology, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA, The Netherlands

Communicated by W. Searcy

Abstract. Two closely related dove species, Streptopelia vinacea and S. capicola, show clear interspecific divergence in one acoustic signal (perch-coo), but much less so in another (bow-coo). Both signals play a role in territorial defense and mate attraction and may thus convey information used for species recognition. In Uganda, there is a small zone of overlap where the two species most probably hybridize. With playback experiments in allopatric populations of each species we tested the potential of the two signal types for species isolation. Allopatric populations showed a stronger response to conspecific than to heterospecific perch-coos, but an equal response to bow-coos of either species. However, S. vinacea responded relatively stronger to S. capicola perch-coos than vice versa. The hybrid population showed an equal response to bow-coos of either species, but a marginally stronger response to perch-coos of S. capicola compared to perch-coos of S. vinacea. Hybrids have a variable and intermediate vocal structure compared to both parental species, which allowed for testing of behavioral coupling between production and perception of these signals. Hybrids showed no relationship between their coo structure and that of the species to which they respond most strongly, indicating a lack of behavioral coupling. Although perch-coos may differ sufficiently to allow species isolation, the similarity in bow-coos may allow interspecific interactions. We suggest that the similarity in bow-coos and the higher salience of S. capicola perch-coos may have allowed S. capicola to extend its range into that of S. vinacea, resulting in hybridization.

TOC                                                               Pics