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Premium High rates of infidelity in the Grey Fantail Rhipidura albiscapa suggest that testis size may be a better correlate of extra‐pair paternity than sexual dimorphism
Author(s)
HOFFMAN JOSEPH I.,
MUNRO KAT,
KILNER REBECCA M.,
AMOS WILLIAM
Publication year2010
Publication title
ibis
Resource typeJournals
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
The Grey Fantail Rhipidura albiscapa is a socially monogamous passerine endemic to Australia. Behavioural and morphological clues point to opposing conclusions as to its breeding system; sexual monomorphism and monochrome colorations suggest monogamy, whereas relatively large testes and a prominent cloacal protruberance are more indicative of multiple mating and sperm competition. We used five highly variable microsatellite loci to investigate the genetic breeding system of this species. Paternity was assigned to 49 of 69 (71%) offspring tested and the overall rate of partner infidelity was high, with 55% of offspring being sired by an extra‐pair male and 64% of all clutches containing extra‐pair young. This puts the Grey Fantail amongst the most promiscuous socially monogamous species yet studied. Where extra‐pair fathers were identified, these were invariably in neighbouring territories, and although larger males did not gain more paternities overall, extra‐pair offspring tended to be fathered by larger males than expected by chance. We interpret our findings in light of some of the potential costs and benefits associated with extra‐pair paternity.
Subject(s)biology , ecology , evolutionary biology , genetics , injective function , mathematics , mating , mating system , monomorphism , offspring , passerine , paternal care , pregnancy , pure mathematics , sexual dimorphism , sexual selection , sperm competition , zoology
Language(s)English
SCImago Journal Rank0.933
H-Index80
eISSN1474-919X
pISSN0019-1019
DOI10.1111/j.1474-919x.2009.01007.x

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