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Type: Journal article
Title: High levels of genetic monogamy in the group-living Australian lizard Egernia stokesii
Author: Gardner, M.
Bull, C.
Cooper, S.
Citation: Molecular Ecology, 2002; 11(9):1787-1794
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0962-1083
Statement of
M. G. Gardner, C. M. Bull, S. J. B. Cooper
Abstract: The Australian lizard Egernia stokesii lives in spatially and temporally stable groups of up to 17 individuals. We have recently shown that these groups are comprised of breeding partners, their offspring and, in some cases, highly related adults, providing the first genetic evidence of a family structure in any lizard species. Here we investigated the mating system of E. stokesii using data from up to eight polymorphic microsatellite loci and tested the hypothesis that breeding partners are monogamous both within and between mating seasons. Among 16 laboratory-born litters from field collected gravid females from two sites in South Australia, 75% had a single male parent and no male contributed to more than one litter, indicating a high level of genetic monogamy within a season. Additional analyses of field caught individuals, captured between 1994 and 1998, enabled assignment of parentage for 70 juveniles and subadults. These data showed that most young (88.6%) had both parents from within the same group and that high proportions of males (88.9%) and females (63.6%) have multiple cohorts of offspring only with the same partner. Our results suggest that monogamy both within and between seasons is a common mating strategy of E. stokesii and that breeding partners maintain stable associations together and with multiple cohorts of their offspring over periods of up to at least 5 years.
Keywords: Animals
Sexual Behavior, Animal
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2002.01552.x
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
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