Consequences of the evolution of placentation and superfetation for multiple paternity in the livebearing fish family Poeciliidae

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Livebearing fish of the family Poeciliidae represent an excellent model system for studying the interplay between maternal care and sexual selection. Two particularly interesting reproductive adaptations, placentation and superfetation have evolved several times independently in the Poeciliidae1.
The influence of these traits on sexual selection are still poorly understood. We aim to determine how placentation and superfetation affect multiple paternity in Poeciliidae. Currently, we are performing genetic paternity assignments in livebearing fish that (i) co-occur in Costa Rican rivers and (ii) vary in the presence of placentation and superfetation: Poeciliopsis retropinna (placenta, superfetation), Poeciliopsis turrubarensis (no placenta, superfetation) and Poecilia gilli (no placenta, no superfetation).
We hypothesize that both placentation and superfetation should lead to a higher degree of multiple paternity2. Placentation may allow females to minimize the potentially detrimental effect of mating with genetically inferior males by mating with multiple males, creating large mixed-paternity litters and relying on sexual selection after copulation (sperm competition, cryptic female choice) or even after fertilization (conflict-driven asymmetric offspring provisioning). Whereas superfetation refers to the ability of females to carry multiple, temporally overlapping litters that have been fertilized at different points in time (presumably by different males), facilitating the formation of mixed-paternity litters.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
EventInterplay Between Parental Care And Sexual Selection - Fiskebäckskil, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
Duration: 26 Feb 20183 Mar 2018


ConferenceInterplay Between Parental Care And Sexual Selection

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