Mating systems and multiple paternity in the estuarine crocodile (crocodylus porosus)

Nancy FitzSimmons, Mona Lisa Jamerlan, Jason C. Buchan, Gordon C. Grigg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Microsatellite markers were used to investigate the mating system of the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Three-hundred and eighty-six hatchlings from 13 clutches from a wild Northern Territory population, and 364 hatchlings from 21 clutches from a captive North Queensland population, were sampled. All samples were genotyped across five microsatellite loci. Multiple paternity was found in 69% of clutches in the wild population compared to 38% of clutches in the captive population. Up to three possible fathers were indicated in some clutches. Shared paternity was suggested by the presence of a common paternal genotype within two clutches in the wild population and among up to three clutches from a large shared pen in the captive population. The probability of detecting multiple paternity at all loci was high; 95% in the wild population and 98% in the captive population. There was no evidence of increased hatching success in the clutches that indicated multiple paternity compared to single paternity clutches in either population (P = 0.43 to P = 0.67). It is unknown whether the occurrence of multiple paternity in C. porosus is a result of multiple mating within the same breeding season or of sperm stored from matings in a previous season. These results suggest the genetic mating system for C. porosus is not polygynous but more likely promiscuous, and there is no evidence of dominant alpha males who control paternity in large areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-33
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Herpetology
    Volume47
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    Crocodylus porosus
    paternity
    mating systems
    reproductive strategy
    captive population
    wild population
    breeding season
    multiple mating
    microsatellite repeats
    crocodile
    loci
    sperm
    Northern Territory
    hatching
    fathers
    genotype
    Queensland
    spermatozoa

    Cite this

    FitzSimmons, Nancy ; Jamerlan, Mona Lisa ; Buchan, Jason C. ; Grigg, Gordon C. / Mating systems and multiple paternity in the estuarine crocodile (crocodylus porosus). In: Journal of Herpetology. 2013 ; Vol. 47, No. 1. pp. 24-33.
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    abstract = "Microsatellite markers were used to investigate the mating system of the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Three-hundred and eighty-six hatchlings from 13 clutches from a wild Northern Territory population, and 364 hatchlings from 21 clutches from a captive North Queensland population, were sampled. All samples were genotyped across five microsatellite loci. Multiple paternity was found in 69{\%} of clutches in the wild population compared to 38{\%} of clutches in the captive population. Up to three possible fathers were indicated in some clutches. Shared paternity was suggested by the presence of a common paternal genotype within two clutches in the wild population and among up to three clutches from a large shared pen in the captive population. The probability of detecting multiple paternity at all loci was high; 95{\%} in the wild population and 98{\%} in the captive population. There was no evidence of increased hatching success in the clutches that indicated multiple paternity compared to single paternity clutches in either population (P = 0.43 to P = 0.67). It is unknown whether the occurrence of multiple paternity in C. porosus is a result of multiple mating within the same breeding season or of sperm stored from matings in a previous season. These results suggest the genetic mating system for C. porosus is not polygynous but more likely promiscuous, and there is no evidence of dominant alpha males who control paternity in large areas.",
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    FitzSimmons, N, Jamerlan, ML, Buchan, JC & Grigg, GC 2013, 'Mating systems and multiple paternity in the estuarine crocodile (crocodylus porosus)', Journal of Herpetology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 24-33. https://doi.org/10.1670/10-303

    Mating systems and multiple paternity in the estuarine crocodile (crocodylus porosus). / FitzSimmons, Nancy; Jamerlan, Mona Lisa; Buchan, Jason C.; Grigg, Gordon C.

    In: Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2013, p. 24-33.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Microsatellite markers were used to investigate the mating system of the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Three-hundred and eighty-six hatchlings from 13 clutches from a wild Northern Territory population, and 364 hatchlings from 21 clutches from a captive North Queensland population, were sampled. All samples were genotyped across five microsatellite loci. Multiple paternity was found in 69% of clutches in the wild population compared to 38% of clutches in the captive population. Up to three possible fathers were indicated in some clutches. Shared paternity was suggested by the presence of a common paternal genotype within two clutches in the wild population and among up to three clutches from a large shared pen in the captive population. The probability of detecting multiple paternity at all loci was high; 95% in the wild population and 98% in the captive population. There was no evidence of increased hatching success in the clutches that indicated multiple paternity compared to single paternity clutches in either population (P = 0.43 to P = 0.67). It is unknown whether the occurrence of multiple paternity in C. porosus is a result of multiple mating within the same breeding season or of sperm stored from matings in a previous season. These results suggest the genetic mating system for C. porosus is not polygynous but more likely promiscuous, and there is no evidence of dominant alpha males who control paternity in large areas.

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