Reproductive behaviour and multiple paternity of California ground squirrels

Diane E. Boellstorff, Donald H. Owings, Cecilia Penedo, Marta J. Hersek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mating system of the California ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi, was examined to determine the incidence of multiple paternity of litters and the circumstances under which it occurs. The population studied has a promiscuous mating system. All receptive females solicited and mated with multiple males, which resulted in 88.9% (eight of nine) of litters sampled in 1988 being multiply sired, the highest frequency of multiple paternity yet reported for a natural population of any species. Five proteins in blood samples of adults and litters were tested by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing for the analysis. Males defended territories that partially overlapped home ranges of females, but did not achieve exclusive access to those females. Females travelled from their home burrows to mate bot h with males whose home ranges partially overlapped their own and with males whose home ranges did not overlap with their own. Females ma ted with an average of 6-7 males during receptive periods that averaged (±sd) 6-67+3-18 h in duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1064
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

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reproductive behavior
paternity
squirrels
home range
litter
mating systems
reproductive strategy
Spermophilus beecheyi
isoelectric focusing
burrow
burrows
blood proteins
polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
electrokinesis
gel
blood
incidence
protein
duration
sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Reproductive behaviour and multiple paternity of California ground squirrels. / Boellstorff, Diane E.; Owings, Donald H.; Penedo, Cecilia; Hersek, Marta J.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 47, No. 5, 01.01.1994, p. 1057-1064.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boellstorff, Diane E. ; Owings, Donald H. ; Penedo, Cecilia ; Hersek, Marta J. / Reproductive behaviour and multiple paternity of California ground squirrels. In: Animal Behaviour. 1994 ; Vol. 47, No. 5. pp. 1057-1064.
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