Breeding ecology and bias in offspring sex ratio in little grassbirds (Megalurus gramineus)

Rebecca R. McIntosh*, Romke Kats, Mathew Berg, Jan Komdeur, Mark A. Elgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Little grassbirds (Megalurus gramineus) are small, sexually monomorphic passerines that live in reed beds, lignum swamps and salt marshes in southern Australia. The breeding biology and patterns of sex allocation of the little grassbird were investigated over a single breeding season. Our observations of this species in the Edithvale Wetland Reserve revealed a highly male-biased population sex ratio, with some breeding territories containing several additional males. Nevertheless, there was little compelling evidence that little grassbirds breed cooperatively. The growth rates of male and female nestlings were similar and, as predicted by theory, there was no overall primary sex ratio bias. However, the primary sex ratio was female-biased early in the breeding season and became increasingly male-biased later in the breeding season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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