Differential allocation (DA)—the adjustment of an individual’s parental investment in relation to its mate’s attractiveness—is increasingly recognized as an important component of sexual selection. However, although DA is expected by both sexes of parents in species with biparental care, DA by males has rarely been investigated. We have previously demonstrated a decrease in the feeding rates of female blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus when their mate’s UV coloration was experimentally reduced (i.e. positive DA). In this study, we used the same experimental protocol in the same population to investigate DA by male blue tits in relation to their female’s UV coloration. Males mated to UV-reduced females had higher feeding rates than those mated to control females (i.e. negative DA). Thus, male and female blue tits display opposite DA for the same component of parental effort (chick provisioning), the first time that this has been reported for any species.
Limbourg, T., Mateman, A. C., & Lessells, C. M. (2013). Opposite differential allocation by males and females of the same species. Biology Letters, 9(1), 20120835. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2012.0835