Fine-scale spatial structuring as an inbreeding avoidance mechanism in the social skink Egernia stokesii

Michael Gardner, Stephanie Godfrey, Aaron Fenner, Steve Donnellan, Christopher Bull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Egernia stokesii is a monogamous and group-living species of Australian scincid lizard. We used genotype data from 10 microsatellite loci to examine evidence for sex-biased dispersal and kin-based discrimination as mechanisms for inbreeding avoidance of E. stokesii within seven rocky outcrops in the southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. We also examined the relatedness of individuals observed using the same crevice within groups. We found no evidence for sex-biased dispersal at these sites, but found that adult lizards of the opposite sex observed using the same crevice were less related to each other than expected by chance. Our results suggest a behavioural mechanism for minimising inbreeding in large related aggregations of this species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)272-277
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
    Volume60
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • aggregations
    • dispersal
    • family living
    • group living
    • lizards.

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