MEPS 270:259-263 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps270259

Genetic evidence of multiple paternity of broods in the intertidal crab Petrolisthes cinctipes

Robert J. Toonen1,2,*

1Center for Population Biology, Section of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA 2Present address: University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Coconut Island, PO Box 1346, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, USA

ABSTRACT: Investigations of paternity among marine crustaceans are rare, but the few studies of brachyuran crabs that have been done to date suggest that most broods derive from single males. Here I use 2 hypervariable microsatellite loci to genotype a dozen brooded embryos from each of 10 gravid females of the porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes (Anomura: Porcellanidae). Based on the number of non-maternal alleles detected among the offspring, at least 1 to 3 males must have fathered each of these broods, and most females were multiply mated. Using a Bayesian approach, I estimate the frequency of multiple mating to be roughly 92.5% in the Bodega Bay population, with a 95% confidence interval of 71 to 100% of females producing broods of multiple paternity.

KEY WORDS: Multiple mating · Paternity · Anomura · Microsatellite · Sperm competition · Mate choice

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