DETECTION OF MULTIPLE PATERNITY IN DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN (<i>Malaclemys terrapin</i>) EGG CLUTCHES FROM CHARLESTON, SC THROUGH THE USE OF NOVEL MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES
Sporre, Megan Alice
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Variation in the incidence of multiple paternity in conspecifics is common; caused by differences in rates of mate encounter. Past studies have shown interspecific variation in the occurrence of multiple paternity under a range of female biased diamondback terrapin populations. The frequency of multiple paternity in a male dominated diamondback terrapin population was determined by amplifying eight microsatellite loci in 102 mothers and 106 clutches of <i>Malaclemys terrapin</i>. Thirty-seven clutches (35%) showed evidence of multiple paternity, and 50% of females who laid more than one clutch showed evidence of sperm storage. Fathers did not contribute to clutches equally, and the primary father sired between 50 to 89% of offspring in a single clutch. Comparisons to other studies of multiple paternity and sex-ratios show that mating strategy differences between species of turtle may be driving opposing increases in the frequency of multiple paternity.