Sexually dichromatic hybrids between two monochromatic duck species, the Chiloé wigeon and the Philippine duck

Jente Ottenburghs*, Jan Harteman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Captive bird hybrids can provide important data on certain traits, such as hybrid viability and fertility. In this paper, we describe four hybrids between the Chiloé wigeon (Anas sibilatrix) and the Philippine duck (Anas luzonica). These two species diverged about 13 million years ago and are found on different continents, making the occurrence of wild hybrids extremely unlikely. Hence, these captive hybrids provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the outcome of hybridization between these highly divergent species. One pair of hybrids mated and produced six unfertilized eggs, suggesting that hybrids between these species are infertile. Morphologically, the hybrids were slightly larger than the parental species, but had intermediate bill lengths. With regard to plumage patterns, the hybrids displayed characteristics of both parental species: Males developed the iridescent green head pattern of the Chiloé wigeon, whereas the females showed the dark crown and eye stripe of the Philippine duck. Interestingly, Chiloé wigeon and Philippine duck are both sexually monochromatic whereas the hybrids showed clear sexual dimorphism. These hybrids can thus lead to novel insights into the genetic and developmental basis of sexual mono- and dichromatism in ducks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16409-16412
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume11
Issue number23
Early online date23 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Anatidae
  • Anseriformes
  • hybrid fertility
  • hybridization

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