A new female-like morph of juvenile male #levantsparrowhawk – sexual mimicry to avoid intra-specific predation?

European Journal of Ecology, 2015, 1(1), 64-67

In migrant Levant #Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes) at Eilat, #Israel, authors noted that juvenile males had two different morphs – the one described to date in literature; and a second, previously undescribed morph, with female-like barring on the chest and flanks interspersed with tear-shaped elongated spots, giving an overall female-like appearance. 

Authors forward the hypothesis that explain the evolutionary consequences for the female-like plumage of juvenile males as that of intra-specific sex mimicry developed to avoid intra-specific predation by the larger females.

Yosef, R. & Fornasari, L. (2015). A new female-like morph of juvenile male Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes) – sexual mimicry to avoid intra-specific predation?. European Journal of Ecology, 1(1), pp. 64-67. doi:10.1515/eje-2015-0008

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The appearance of a female-like plumage in juvenile Levant Sparrowhawk males could be seen as a strategy to improve survival during the first year and as that of intra-specific sexual mimicry developed to avoid intraspecific predation by the larger females

Two different Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes) juvenile male morphs: female-like (left) &  more common known to date (right). Credit: authors