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Keywords:

  • inbreeding;
  • mating system;
  • microsatellites;
  • population structure;
  • spider;
  • Stegodyphus

Abstract

Stegodyphus lineatus spiders live in groups consisting of closely related individuals. There appears to be no discrimination against related individuals as mates but females mate multiply, despite the fact that matings are shown to carry a cost. We have developed eight polymorphic dinucleotide microsatellite markers that allow us to assess levels of heterozygosity and relatedness among individuals of this species. These molecular markers are likely to prove highly effective tools for estimating levels of inbreeding and thus allow us to test hypotheses about the relationships between social structure, mating strategies and inbreeding avoidance.