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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 125 5 5–127 7 7. SHORT-COMMUNIC ARA TICLE TION June 2017 Brown plumage aberration records in Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus s) and Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus s s) in southern Brazil 1,2 1 1 Maria Virginia Petry , Luiz Liberato Costa Corrêa , Victória Renata Fontoura Benemann & Gabriela Bandasz Werle Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Avenida Unisinos, 950, Bairro Cristo Rei, 93022-000, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil. Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org Received on 11 January 2017. Accepted on 30 August 2017. ABSTRACT: Plumage aberration records are widely reported for terrestrial bird species, although for seabirds those records are still scarce. Th e brown mutation is one of the most frequent color aberration in birds, and is defi ned as a qualitative reduction of eumelanin. Here we describe the first records of brown plumage aberration for two seabird species, in two individuals of Larus dominicanus and one individual of Spheniscus magellanicus, in coastal southern Brazil, thus contributing to the knowledge on color variations in wild birds. KEY-WORDS: chromatic, coloration, mutation, seabirds, waterbirds. Plumage aberrations in wild birds have been widely of the incomplete oxidation of eumelanin, this pigment reported over several decades (e.g. Sage 1963, Piacentini becomes less expressive, while the brown tones provided 2001, Franz & Fleck 2009, Mancini et alll. 2010, Crozariol by the phaeomelanin pigment become more apparent, et alll. 2013, Frainer et alll. 2015). Those color mutations thus expressing the brown mutation. Additionally, it occur due to the absence or excess of certain pigments in is known that feathers aff ected by brown mutation the birds' feathers and skin, which may result in distinct may depigment as a result of continuous sun exposure, kinds of color variation, diverging from the original becoming white-toned. In some cases, the bird tarsus may plumage pattern of the species. Th e most commonly present depigmentation as well (van Grouw 2006, 2013). reported mutations are cases of albinism, leucism, Brown mutation cases are relatively common in wild melanism, progressive greying, dilution and brown (Sage birds, and were described for a large number of species, 1963, van Grouw 2006, van Grouw et alll. 2011, Hume & for instance Agelasticus thilius, Columba maculosa a and van Grouw 2014). The brown mutation is a genetically- Nothura maculosa a (Urcola 2011), Uria aalge, Uria a spp. and based plumage abnormality that may be caused by Morus bassanus (van Grouw et alll. 2011), Passer domesticus multiple mechanisms, including loci in autossomes or (van Grouw 2012), Megarynchus pitangua a (Crozariol et alll. sexual cromossomes. Van Grouw (2006, 2012) suggested 2013), Corvus monedula a and Pica pica a (van Grouw 2013), that the brown mutation may be caused by a single gene, Ectopistes migratorius s (Hume & van Grouw 2014), Corvus and that its inheritance is recessively linked to the female splendens s (Mahabal et alll. 2015), Fulmarus glacialis, Larus sexual chromosome. On the other hand, studies have argentatus s (Flood & van Grouw 2015) and Procellaria shown that the activation of the melanocortin-1 receptor aequinoctialis s (Frainer et alll. 2015). Although the brown (MC1R) gene may increase the synthesis of brown mutation is a commonly reported color variation, caution eumelanin (Robbins et al. 1993, Mundy 2005). However, must be taken in diagnosis of specimens, considering most cases of plumage aberrations reported, attributed that many authors have erroneously described brown to the MC1R gene, are diff erent degrees of melanism mutation cases as other color mutations, such as dilution (Mundy et al. 2004, Mundy 2005, Nadeau et al. 2006). or leucism (van Grouw 2012). In birds, the brown mutation affects qualitatively The Kel p Gull (Larus dominucanus s) is a coastal bird the eumelanin, which is the pigment responsible to widely distributed through the Southern Hemisphere, produce black, grey and dark-brown tones. As a result occurring in coastal environments from the Equator to Brown plumage aberration in seabirds in southern Brazil Petry et al. the Antarctic continent (BirdLife International 2016a). species present apparent sexual dimorphism (Couve & The original color pattern of adult individuals consists Vidal 2003). in head, neck, tail, rump and undersides all white, Since the early 1990s, the Laboratory of Ornithology and presenting black tones in the back and top of the wings. Marine Animals (LOAM) monitors the vertebrate fauna from Immature individuals present back and top of the wings the middle coast of the Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, between o o o mottled brownish, rump barred brownish and white. Th e Balneário Pinhal (30 15'S; 50 14'W) and Mostardas (31 11'S; bill-tip is reddish in adult individuals, while blackish in 50 50'W) (Petry et alll. 2007, 2016). Differences in plumage immatures (de la Peña & Rumboll 2001, Couve & Vidal pattern of coastal and seabirds are observed throughout the 2003). The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus s s) seasons, comprising differences between breeding and non - is a pelagic seabird distributed through the Pacific and breeding periods of species (e.g. Sterna hirundo, Calidris canutus Atlantic Oceans of South America, ranging coastal zones and Pluvialis dominica a), age group variations (e.g. S. magellanicus s s, from Argentina, Chile and Falklands Islands. Immature Th alassarche melanophris and L. dominicanus s) and diet-driven individuals migrate northward during the non-breeding color variations, such as pink tones in the plumage of some season, reaching the coast of Brazil in winter months species caused by a carotenoid-rich diet (e.g. Platalea ajaja a and (BirdLife International 2016b). The original color pattern Phoenicopterus chilensis s s). In May 2008 we observed an adult o o of adults consists in white prevailing in the underparts, individual of L. dominicanus (30 57'18.1"S; 50 39'45.3"W), with a horseshoe-shaped black band on breast extending and in April 2009, we observed a sub-adult individual down the fl anks, and another wider band crossing the (30 39'01.9"S; 50º26'33.1"W), both presenting aberrant o o upper breast. Black predominates in the dorsal region, plumages. In March 2010 (30 55'00.5"S; 50 38'05.3"W) we upper side of the fl ippers and head, with a white collar recorded one immature individual of S. magellanicus s presenting descending from the top of the head and joining on the same color variation. All three specimens presented plumage the neck. Immatures present greyish plumage instead depigmentation on originally black parts of the body, described of black, lacking the bands on head, neck and breast in literature as brown mutation (see van Grouw 2006, 2013) (Williams 1995, de la Peña & Rumboll 2001). Neither (Fig. 1). Figure 1. Adult individual of Larus dominicanus reported in May 2008 ( ( (A A A). Note that this specimen presents almost complete depigmentation in some tail and wing feathers. Th e other L. dominicanus, a sub-adult individual reported in April 2009 (B), also presents depigmentation in some tail and wing feathers, as well as in the tarsus skin Immature individual of Spheniscus magellanicus reported in March 2010 (C–D). All cases described above are brown mutation cases reported in coastal Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Photos: LOAM archive. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Brown plumage aberration in seabirds in southern Brazil Petry et al. Crozariol M.A., Carneiro T., Cembranelli L. & Barreiros M.H.M. Documented cases describing plumage aberrations 2013. Ocorrência de plumagem “marrom” em Megarynchus in coastal and seabirds in Brazil are scarce, generally pitangua a (Tyrannidae) e leucística em Poospiza lateralis reporting cases of albinism and leucism mutations (Coelho (Emberizidae). Atualidades Ornitológicas s 174: 14–15. & Alves 1991, Mancini et alll. 2010, Frainer et alll. 2015). Flood R.L. & van Grouw H. 2015. Unfamiliar plumage types of However, many cases have probably gone unnoticed by Fulmars in the North Atlantic. British Birds s 108: 331–348. Frainer G., Daudt N.W. & Carlos C.J. 2015. Aberrantly plumaged researchers due to natural plumage variations presented by White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis s in the Brazilian this group, such as breeding and non-breeding plumages, waters, south-west Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biodiversity Records s 8: as well as immature plumaged individuals. Furthermore, e103. several cases of aberrant plumage may have not been Franz I. & Fleck R. 2009. Dois casos de leucismo em Quero-quero Vanellus chilensis s (Molina, 1782) no sul do Brasil. Biotemas s 22: considered relevant for publication by researchers and 161–164. birdwatchers, thus hiding important information on these Hume J.P. & van Grouw H. 2014. Color aberrations in extinct and cases. Van Grouw (2013) reported that, in some cases, endangered birds. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club b 134: diagnosing the type of mutation in wild specimens may 168–193. Mahabal A., Sharma R.M. & Sayyed A. 2015. Colour aberrations in be challenging due to natural variation in the plumage Indian birds. BirdingASIA 24: 119–121. of some species, and due to depigmentation of feathers Mancini P.L., Jiménez S., Neves T. & Bugoni L. 2010. Records of caused by the incidence of sunlight. leucism in albatrosses and petrels (Procellariiformes) in the South The knowledge on aberrant plumage and other Atlantic Ocean. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia a 18: 245–248. chromatic variations in birds may contribute to future Mundy N.I. 2005. A window on the genetics of evolution: MC1R R and plumage colouration in birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of studies regarding population genetics and ecology London B: Biological Sciences s 272: 1633–1640. of species, since chromatic mutations are caused by Mundy N.I., Badcock N.S., Hart T., Scribner K., Janssen K. & Nadeau naturally rare recessive genes. Besides that, aberrant N.J. 2004. Conserved genetic basis of a quantitative plumage trait plumaged individuals may be more or less susceptible involved in mate choice. Science e 303: 1870–1873. to predation, sexual selection and illegal wildlife trade, Nadeau N.J., Minvielle, F. & Mundy N.I. 2006. Association of a Glu92Lys substitution in MC1R with extended brown in Japanese since these individuals are more noticeable that non- Quail (Coturnix japonica). Animal Genetics s 37: 287–289. mutant ones because they present a diff erent plumage de la Peña M.R. & Rumboll M. 2001. Birds of southern South America (van Grouw 2006). Records presented in this study and Antarctica. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. are, to our knowledge, the fi rst brown mutation cases Petry M.V., Basler A.B. & Santos C.R. 2016. First record of Fregetta tropica a (Procellariiformes: Hydrobatidae) on the coast of Rio reported for both S. magellanicus and L. dominicanus, Grande do Sul, Brazil. Oecologia Australis s 20: 119–121. thus contributing to the knowledge regarding chromatic Petry M.V., Fonseca V.S.S. & Scherer A.L. 2007. Analysis of variations in wild marine birds. stomach contents from the Black-browed Albatross, Thalassarche melanophris, on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. Polar Biology y 30: 321–325. Piacentini V.Q. 2001. Novos registros de plumagens aberrantes em ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Muscicapidae e Emberizidae Neotropicais. Tangara a 1: 183–188. Robbins L.S., Nadeau J.H., Johnson K.R., Kelly M.A., Roselli-Rehfuss The authors are grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Society L., Baack E., Mountjoy K.G. & Cone R.D. 1993. Pigmentation (WCS 2008-05 and 2009-05) and Fundação de Amparo à phenotypes of variant extension locus alleles result from point mutations that alter MSH receptor function. Celll 72: 827–834. Pesquisa do Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS No. 09/0574-7 Sage B.L. 1963. Th e incidence of albinism and melanism in British and No. 2409-2551/12-0 0 0) for the financial support during birds. British Birds s 56: 409–416. the study period. We would also like to thank Dr. Hein Urcola M.R. 2011. Aberraciones cromáticas en aves de la colección van Grouw for the confirmation of brown mutation o f ornitológica del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales specimens, and colleagues from Laboratório de Ornitologia e “Bernardino Rivadavia”. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 13: 221–228. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2017
Keywords: chromatic; coloration; mutation; seabirds; waterbirds
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