Evol Ecol Res 9: 495-503 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Multiple paternity and sperm storage lead to increased genetic diversity in Anolis lizards

Ryan Calsbeek,1* Camille Bonneaud,2‡ Setal Prabhu,3 Nicholas Manoukis3 and Thomas B. Smith2,3

1Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, 2Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment, University of California, 1609 Hershey Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90065 and 3Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90065, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: ryan.calsbeek@dartmouth.edu


Question: Are multiple mating and sperm storage important in the evolution of Anolis lizards?

Data description: Rates of multiple paternity in field-caught dams, timing of sperm storage from field-caught dams, sire order effects, genetic diversity of progeny, timing of sperm storage from controlled matings in the laboratory. Data are based on the use of eight microsatellite loci, natural and controlled breeding studies.

Search method: We used exclusionary paternity analysis to score the number of sires that fertilized each female’s eggs. We scored the days since copulation that females continued to produce fertile eggs in the laboratory as a measure of the timing of sperm storage. We estimated differences in sire RS (field only) as a function of sire order. We compared proportions of shared microsatellite alleles between full-sibs and half-sibs relative to the population mean as an index of progeny genetic diversity.

Conclusion: Anolis sagrei is one of the most promiscuous amniote vertebrates studied. Most (80%) female A. sagrei mate with multiple males and can store sperm for more than 2 months. Mate order has little impact on sire reproductive success. The genetic diversity among progeny from females that mate with multiple males is higher, and closer to the total genetic diversity in the population, compared with progeny from monogamous females. We discuss potential adaptive explanations for multiple paternity, including the importance of sexual conflict in the mating system.

Keywords: island, lizard, multiple paternity, sexual selection, sperm.

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