Individual territoriality in lekking species: the case of the Helmeted Manakin

Published: 20 January 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/cv4h8d8w2k.1
Lia Kajiki


Our objectives were to verify whether territorial behaviour occurs in the Helmeted Manakin and to provide a preliminary assessment of this species’ hypothesised social monogamy. Using an experimental approach with simulated territorial intrusions, we demonstrated that males in this species hold individual territories with nesting sites but do not provide parental care, similar to its congener, the Araripe Manakin (Antilophia bokermanni). Males’ responses occurred more aggressively in central areas of territories. Larger home ranges encompassed the smaller defended territories and the male display consists of repeated circular flights within the territory. Our results indicate that the Helmeted Manakin has a polygamous mating system. However, we suggest the species is better classified within the continuum of a resource-defence exploded-lek mating system. The distinct environmental conditions in which the species evolved may have played a significant role in modifying its behaviour, resulting in patterns that deviate from the typical lekking system found among manakins. This study highlights the importance of investigating atypical manakins to further our understanding of alternative reproductive tactics among birds.


Steps to reproduce

Field data was colected at the "Fazenda Água Limpa" protected area in Brasília, Brazil. Birds were captured with mist nets and banded with numbered aluminium bands and with a unique combination of three coloured plastic bands. Between August 2018 and January 2020, we opportunistically monitored marked birds with binoculars and collected individuals’ locations with a GPS in temporal bouts of approximately 30-min. We identified potential territories of banded adult males where territorial defence experiments were conducted to verify whether areas occupied by males coincided with defended areas. Subsequently, using data from the territorial defence experiments and the monitoring of marked birds, we used the Kernel Density Estimation technique to determine the home ranges and territories of marked males. We used the package ‘adehabitatHR’ for estimating home range and territory and ‘rhr’ to assess site fidelity and home range asymptotes. The spreadsheet "Antilophia-galeata-territories.xlsx" contains general data related to the coordinates used in this study The rest of the .csv files were used for the analysis in R The RData file contains all data used and generated following the "territoriality_script.R" file


Universidade de Brasilia


Animal Behavior, Mating System, Aves, Territoriality, Behavioral Experiment


Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico


Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Distrito Federal


Idea Wild

Animal Behavior Society

Association of Field Ornithologists

National Geographic Society

Western Bird Banding Association