Extra‐pair mating in a socially monogamous and paternal mouth‐brooding cardinalfish

Rueger, Theresa, Harrison, Hugo B., Gardiner, Naomi M., Berumen, Michael L., and Jones, Geoffrey P. (2019) Extra‐pair mating in a socially monogamous and paternal mouth‐brooding cardinalfish. Molecular Ecology, 28 (10). pp. 2625-2635.

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Many vertebrates form monogamous pairs to mate and care for their offspring. However, genetic tools have increasingly shown that offspring often arise from matings outside of the monogamous pair bond. Social monogamy is relatively common in coral reef fishes, but there have been few studies that have confirmed monogamy or extra‐pair reproduction, either for males or for females. Here, long‐term observations and genetic tools were applied to examine the parentage of embryos in a paternally mouth‐brooding cardinalfish, Sphaeramia nematoptera. Paternal care in fishes, such as mouth‐brooding, is thought to be associated with a high degree of confidence in paternity. Two years of observations confirmed that S. nematoptera form long‐term pair bonds within larger groups. However, genetic parentage revealed extra‐pair mating by both sexes. Of 105 broods analysed from 64 males, 30.1% were mothered by a female that was not the partner and 11.5% of broods included eggs from two females. Despite the high paternal investment associated with mouth‐brooding, 7.6% of broods were fertilized by two males. Extra‐pair matings appeared to be opportunistic encounters with individuals from outside the immediate group. We argue that while pair formation contributes to group cohesion, both males and females can maximize lifetime reproductive success by taking advantage of extra‐pair mating opportunities.

Item ID: 60140
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-294X
Research Data: https://datadryad.org/resource/doi:10.5061/dryad.557br15
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 23:54
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 60%
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