Testosterone in the breeding cycle of the male red-backed shrike lanius collurio

L. Fornasari, L. Bottoni, H. Schwabl, R. Massa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concentration of plasma testosterone was studied in a number of territorial male Red-backed Shrikes, Lanius collurio, during a breeding season in the Italian Pre-AJps. Testosterone levels were highest at the time of the birds’ arrival and declined abruptly after a few days. This indicates that high levels of circulating testosterone are needed to sustain aggressive motivation while much lower levels may be sufficient for sexual behaviour in this species. Moreover, it also appears that males of Red-backed Shrikes have very high testosterone blood levels well before they gain their breeding sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalEthology Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Aggression
  • Breeding season
  • Red-backed Shrike
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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