Multiple Mating Results in Multiple Paternity in Richardson's Ground Squirrels, Spermophilus richardsonii

James F. Hare, Glenda Todd, Wendy A. Untereiner


Microsatellite DNA primers developed from Columbian Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus) were used to establish paternity in a Manitoba population of Richardson’s Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii). Primers resolving variation at six microsatellite loci allowed ascription of paternity to 32 of 85 offspring born among litters of 15 breeding females sampled. While the failure to unambiguously document paternity for all juveniles precludes the use of these data to address questions of sperm competition and male mating success, the results do provide direct evidence that multiple mating by female Richardson’s Ground Squirrels results in multiple paternity within litters.


Richardson's Ground Squirrel; Spermophilus richardsonii; mating; microsatellite DNA; multiple paternity; Manitoba

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