Parental care and mating behaviour of polyandrous dunnocks Prunella modularis related to paternity by DNA fingerprinting

  title={Parental care and mating behaviour of polyandrous dunnocks Prunella modularis related to paternity by DNA fingerprinting},
  author={Terry A. Burke and N. B. Daviest and Michael William Bruford and Ben J. Hatchwell},
INDIVIDUALS are often assumed to behave so as to maximize their reproductive success1 but unambiguous determination of parentage is difficult, especially in species with complex social systems where a female may mate with several males and where there may also be intraspecific brood parasitism2,4. Even in apparently monogamous species, extra-pair paternity can be common5,7. DNA fingerprinting8,11 promises to revolutionize field studies by providing a powerful method for determining paternity… 

Paternity and paternal care in the polygynandrous Smith's longspur

Male Smith's longspurs appear to show a graded adjustment of paternal care in response to paternity only when other males are available to compensate for reduced care, and a positive relationship is expected between the amount of female access and the subsequent feeding rate to the nestlings.

Extra-pair paternity in the facultatively polygynous spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor

To be polygynous is costly in terms of paternity loss when the authors experimentally induce mating status controlling for individual male traits, but the low values of the power tests for the statistically non-significant results of hormone on cuckoldry do not allow us to discard this hormone effect altogether.

Shared paternity revealed by genetic analysis in cooperatively breeding tropical wrens

POSTPONEMENT of dispersal and breeding to assist in rearing others' young may be favoured if helpers' contributions to the production of close kin exceed their likely reproductive success had they

Female control of paternity by spawning site choice in a cooperatively polyandrous cichlid

This work presents direct evidence that a cooperative polyandrous cichlid fish with external fertilisation, Julidochromis transcriptus, uses environmental factors to manipulate male access to, and therefore paternity of, their egg clutches.

Cuckoldry and lack of parentage-dependent paternal care in yellow warblers: a cost–benefit approach

Analysis of provisioning of nestlings by socially monogamous male yellow warblers varied with the males' parentage in the brood and how males' paternity varied in subsequent matings suggest that the benefit of facultatively reducing parental care when parentage is reduced rarely exceeds the costs.


It is suggested that the simple rule for paternal care in the Galapagos Hawk is that if a male is a group member, he will copulate with the female, have some probability to fertilize the eggs, and provide care for young produced at the nest.

Parentage in the cooperative breeding system of long-tailed tits, Aegithalos caudatus

There was no evidence that the existence of a direct reproductive stake in a brood played an important role in the helping decisions of either male or female helpers and genetic analyses showed that extrapair paternity was low, and that intraspecific brood parasitism was negligible.

Male mating success and paternity in the grey seal, Halichoerus grypus: a study using DNA fingerprinting

Overall, DNA typed males were more dominant, maintained positions amongst the females for longer, and accounted for disproportionately more paternities than untyped males, however, the reproductive success of the typed males is not as great as their behavioural domination of copulatory opportunities would suggest.



Reproductive success of dunnocks prunella modularis in a variable mating system ii. conflicts of interest among breeding adults

It is concluded that cooperation is unstable because an alpha male cannot enforce a limit on the beta male's share of paternity and, because survival is low, the same two individuals do not have sufficient repeated interactions for cooperation to evolve.

Reproductive success of dunnocks, Prunella modularis, in a variable mating system. I: Factors influencing provisioning rate, nestling weight and fledging success

The results of natural removal experiments and matched comparisons of reproductive success of the same individuals on the same territory but in different mating combinations support the view that the main determinant of reproductivesuccess is the mating system because this influences the number of adults who feed the young.

Polyandry, cloaca-pecking and sperm competition in dunnocks

Sperm competition is described for a small European passerine bird, the dunnock (Prunella modularis), where females are often mated simultaneously to two males and where there is an elaborate pre-copulatory display.

Territory and Social Organization in a Population of Dunnocks Prunella modularis

It is suggested that the main underlying factor involved in the Dunnock's unusual social organization is its feeding ecology, linked with the independence of male and female territories, and that females, because they are subordinate to males at feeding places, are more at risk during periods of food shortage.


The ability of a male to control access to females depended on female range size, which was influenced by food distribution, which gave rise to mating combinations that reflected high male mating success (polygyny and polygynandry).

Demographic study of a wild house sparrow population by DNA fingerprinting

It is reported that one of the human minisatellite clones is a suitable probe for sparrow DNA and that it reveals variation as extensive as that found in man, suggesting that analysis of minis Satellite DNA will be a powerful tool in the study of demographic population genetics.

DNA fingerprinting in birds

It is shown here that human minisatellite-derived probes also detect highly variable regions in bird DNAs and it is concluded that house sparrow DNA fingerprints are analagous to those of humans.