Frequency of multiple paternity varies between two populations of brown smoothhound sharkPublished online on 03. January 2014
Frequency of multiple paternity varies between two populations of brown smoothhound shark, Mustelus henlei
Chris L. Chabot, Brent M. Haggin
Multiple paternity was recently observed in a population of the brown smoothhound shark, Mustelus henlei, from Las Barrancas, Baja California Sur, Mexico, with litters demonstrating the greatest percentage of multiple paternity for any shark species (93 % of litters and an average number of sires = 2.3). To determine whether this frequency is consistent elsewhere in the species’ range, 4 polymorphic microsatellite loci were used to determine the frequency of multiple paternity in 18 litters of M. henlei from Santa Catalina Island, CA, sampled in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Multiple paternity varied among sampling years with 2004 demonstrating multiple sires for 40 % of sampled litters (n = 10) with an average of 1.4 sires per litter and 2008/2012 demonstrating a total lack of multiply sired litters (n = 8). Although multiple paternity was detected in this study, the range of frequencies observed is lower than that observed in the Mexican population. Based on these findings, investigators should take location into consideration when assessing the existence of multiple paternity in future studies of elasmobranch species.
Marine Biology, DOI 10.1007/s00227-013-2378-2