Nathalie Béguin

Associate professor


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Research Interests

The « good genes » theory (Moore, 1994) postulates that mating animals must search for a high genetic quality sexual partner in order to pass on characteristics of this partner. To make a choice, during pairing, animals need reliable phenotypic clues of its sexual partner's genetic quality. Female birds' selection criteria for a mate (Bateson, 1983 ; Hill, 1990 ; Dugatkin & Godin, 1998) are known to be divided in three types : morphological criteria, behavioural criteria and territory.

In this scientific background, it is interesting to study morphological, genetic, physiological and / or behavioural male indexes in positive or negative relation with female domestic canary (Serinus canaria) mate choice and reproductive success.

The influence of testosterone on male behaviour (parental behaviour, dominance, aggressiveness, singing activity, nest building behaviour...), male attendance during reproduction, kinship degree with female, female reproductive past with a particular male, mate choice is studied related to female preferences (for songs or males), clutches' sex ratio, reproductive success (chick number, chick survival).

Keywords : Canary, Mate choice, Reproductive success, Kinship, Behaviour, Hormone.

Bateson, 1983. Mate choice. Ed. Cambridge.
Dugatkin & Godin, 1998. Comment les femelles choisissent leur partenaire. Pour la science, 248, 100-107.
Hill, 1990. Female house finches prefer colourful males : sexual selection for a condition dependent trait. Anim. Behav., 40, 563-572.
Moore, 1994. Genetic evidence for the "good genes" process of sexual selection. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 35, 235-241


André Lacroix
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé
79360 Beauvoir sur Niort

Sophie Baron
Laboratoire Genindexe (La Rochelle)


Béguin N., Leboucher G., Bruckert, L. & Kreutzer., M. 2006. Mate preferences in female canaries (Serinus canaria) within a breeding season. Acta Ethologica, 9, 65-70.

Parisot M., Tanvez A., Lacroix A., Vallet E., Béguin N.,, Leboucher G. 2005. Social competition and plasma testosterone profile in domesticated canaries : an experimental test of the challenge hypothesis. Hormones and Behavior, 48, 225-232.

Tanvez A., Béguin N., Chastel O., Lacroix A., Leboucher G. 2004. Sexually attractive phrases increase yolk androgens deposition in Canaries (Serinus canaria). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 138, 113-120.

Leboucher G., Béguin N., Lacroix A., Kreutzer M. 2000. Progesterone inhibits female courtship behavior in domestic canaries (Serinus canaria). Hormones and Behavior, 38, 123-129.

Leboucher G., Béguin N., Mauget R., Kreutzer., M. 1998. Effects of Fadrozole, on Sexual Displays and Reproductive Activity in the Female Canary (Serinus canaria). Physiology & Behaviour, 65, 2, 233-240.

Béguin N., Leboucher G., Kreutzer., M.1998. Sexual preferences for mate song in female canaries (Serinus canaria). Behaviour, 135, 1185-1186.

Béguin N., Leboucher G., Kreutzer M. 1996. Sexual responsiveness, hormonal concentrations and song preferences in female canaries (Serinus canaria) during the breeding cycle. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 101, 144-145.

Updated on 05 janvier 2010