Multiple paternity in egg clutches of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)

J. Joseph*, P. W. Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

We present the first data collected on the genetic mating system of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata, the only marine turtle not studied to date. We examined paternity within 12 egg clutches from ten female hawksbill turtles from Sabah Turtle Islands, Malaysia. A total of 375 hatchlings were analysed using five microsatellite markers. Results demonstrated that clutches from two out of ten females were sired by multiple males (maximum of two). Although at a low frequency, observation of multiple paternity indicates that hawksbill turtles exhibit the same genetic mating system (polyandry) as observed for other species of marine turtles. Consistent paternity across multiple clutches laid by individual females in one breeding season supports the hypothesis that sperm are stored from mating prior to nesting and are then used to fertilize all subsequent clutches of eggs that season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-605
Number of pages5
JournalConservation Genetics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • STORAGE
  • SPERM
  • MARINE TURTLE
  • Marine turtles
  • Microsatellites
  • Multiple paternity
  • Hawksbill turtle
  • Endangered species
  • POLYANDRY
  • GENETIC-MARKERS
  • RIDLEY SEA-TURTLE
  • Eretmochelys imbricata

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