CIE Spotlight: Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch

Lee Ann R.
Lee Ann R.

Title: Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda (PDF)

Authors: van Rooij, Erica P.; Rollins, Lee A.; Holleley, Clare E.; Griffith, Simon C.

Source: PEERJ, 4, JAN 5 2016

Brief summary of the paper: Although the majority of passerine birds are socially monogamous, true genetic monogamy is rare, with extra-pair paternity (EPP) occurring in almost 90% of surveyed socially monogamous species.

We present the first molecular data on the genetic breeding system of the long-tailed finch, Poephila acuticauda, a grass finch endemic to the tropical northern savannah of Australia.

Although the species forms socially monogamous pair bonds during the breeding season, we found that extra-pair males sired 12.8% of 391 offspring, in 25.7% of 101 broods.

Our findings provide only the second estimate of extra-pair paternity in the estrildid finch family.