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Keywords:

  • brood parasitism;
  • maternity;
  • mating tactics;
  • paternity

Abstract

We employ microsatellite markers to assess mating tactics in Lepomis marginatus. Genetic assignments for 1015 progeny in 23 nests indicate that about 95% of the offspring were sired by their respective nest-guardians, a finding consistent with the apparent absence of a brood parasitic morphotype in this species. Allopaternal care was documented in two nests, one resulting from a nest takeover, the other from cuckoldry by an adjoining nest-tender. Clustered de novo mutations also were identified. About 2.5 females (range 1–7) contributed to the offspring pool within a typical nest. Results are compared to those for other Lepomis species.