Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Breeding of the Mallee-fowl, Leipoa ocellata Gould (Megapodiidae)

HJ Frith

CSIRO Wildlife Research 4(1) 31 - 60
Published: 1959


The beginning and the end of the breeding season of the mallee fowl, Leipou ocellata Gould, are determined by the availability of natural heat for incubation. The breeding is confined to the summer because that is the only time when sufficient heat is available. The clutch size is a function of the length of the period suitable for egg-laying and the interval between successive eggs. The former is determined largely by the amount of winter rainfall and by the composition and location of the mound. The interval between eggs is affected by the amount of food available to the birds. Clutch size, then, is ultimately determined by the food supply of the female. Quantitative data on the size of mallee fowl eggs are presented and seasonal trends in egg size are discussed.


© CSIRO 1959

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