Data from Australian National University Provide New Insights into Behavioral Ecology
2012 JUL 20 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Investigators discuss new findings in Behavioral Ecology. According to news reporting out of Canberra, Australia, by VerticalNews editors, researchers stated "The fiddler crab Uca mjoebergi mates both underground in male-defended burrows and on the surface near female-defended burrows. The reproductive tract of Uca species facilitates last-male precedence, suggesting that males that do not guard-mated females are likely to gain very little paternity if the female re-mates with another male."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research by the authors from Australian National University, "Here, we test the reproductive success of burrow and surface matings using paternity analysis. We found that 100 % of the females that mated in burrows extruded a clutch of eggs. Furthermore, we show conclusively, for the first time in a fiddler crab species, that last-male sperm precedence results in the majority of the female's eggs being fertilised by the burrow-mated male. In contrast, surface matings resulted in significantly fewer females extruding eggs (5.6 %). Paternity analysis also revealed that more than half of the clutches from burrow-mated females showed low levels of extra-pair paternity from previous matings. Although multiple matings appear common in U. mjoebergi, burrow-mated males that guard females are guaranteed a successful mating with extremely high rates of assured paternity."
According to the news editors, the researchers concluded: "Surface matings therefore appear to be an opportunistic tactic that may increase male reproductive success in a highly competitive environment."
For more information on this research see: Paternity analysis of two male mating tactics in the fiddler crab, Uca mjoebergi. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2012;66(7):1017-1024. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer - www.springer.com; Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology - www.springerlink.com/content/0340-5443/)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting L.T. Reaney, Australian National University, Res Sch Biol, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
Keywords for this news article include: Canberra, Behavioral Ecology, Australia and New Zealand
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