Multiple mating and female choice in Richardson's ground squirrels (Urocitellus Richardsonii)
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2009.
I studied the mating behaviour of Richardson’s ground squirrels (Urocitellus richardsonii) in 2007 and 2008, near Picture Butte, AB, Canada with the goals of evaluating multiple paternities within litters, sperm competition, and female mate choice. Eleven microsatellites and use of behavioural data to eliminate males who could not be putative sires based on their spatial and temporal remoteness from estrous females enabled exclusive assignment of paternity to 82.8% of 598 offspring with known maternity. The frequency of multiple paternities (26.4%, n=87 litters) in my population was lower than that reported for Richardson’s ground squirrels in a Manitoba population (80.0%, n=15 litters). Sperm competition was absent except in litters weaned by those females that mated again within 5 minutes of the first copulation, in which case sperm displacement was evident. Female choice was observed through avoidance of copulation, termination of copulation, and hide-then-run behaviour.
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Dissertations, Academic , Richardson's ground squirrel -- Reproduction , Courtship in animals , Sexual behavior in animals , Richardson's ground squirrel -- Sexual behavior