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Multiple paternity in the pueriparous North African fire salamander, Salamandra algira, supports polyandry as a successful mating strategy in low fecundity Salamandra lineages

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2021, 08:45 by Lucía Alarcón-Ríos, Guillermo Velo-Antón
Multiple paternity is widespread in nature and despite costs, it has many associated benefits like increased genetic diversity and fertilization success. It has been described in many viviparous systems, suggesting the existence of some fitness advantages counteracting the inherent costs of viviparity, such as fecundity reduction and high parental investment. Reproductively polymorphic species, like the urodele Salamandra algira, which shows two types of viviparity: larviparity (i.e., delivering aquatic larvae), and pueriparity (i.e., delivering terrestrial metamorphosed juveniles), are suitable systems to study the relationship between reproductive modes and polygamous mating. Here, multiple paternity is confirmed in a pueriparous lineage of S. algira, as previously verified for the pueriparous lineages of the reproductively polymorphic species S. salamandra, suggesting polyandry is a successful mating strategy in pueriparous systems with reduced brood sizes. We discuss the potential benefits of polyandry in the context of viviparity evolution in urodeles.