Mammalian Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 169–176 | Cite as

Paternity assessment in free-ranging wild boar (Sus scrofa)–Are littermates full-sibs?

  • Rodrigo Delgado
  • Pedro Fernández-Llario
  • Marisa Azevedo
  • Albano Beja-Pereira
  • Pedro SantosEmail author
Original Investigation


Multiple paternity within litters occurs in various groups of mammals exhibiting different mating systems. Using seven genetic markers (i.e., microsatellites), we investigated the paternity of littermates in free-ranging wild boar (Sus scrofa) in a Mediterranean habitat. Using the software CERVUS 2.0 we estimated the probability of detecting multiple paternity across all loci (D), the probability of paternity (W) and a statistic Δ that allows the assignment of paternity to the most likely male with strict and relaxed levels of confidence. Multiple paternity was inferred for one of the nine analysed litters at the 80% confidence level. This suggests that a single male may control the access to receptive adult females and it shows that multiple paternity is not very common in the studied free-ranging wild boar population. Despite the possible occurrence of sperm competition and/or female cryptic choice, mate guarding seems to play a significant role in sexual selection. To better understand the wild boar’s mating strategies further studies analysing the reproductive success of both sexes and under different environmental conditions should be conducted.


Sus scrofa Mating system Sexual selection Mate guarding Sperm competition 

Vaterschaftsanalysen bei freilebenden Wildschweinen (Sus scrofa)–Sind Jungtiere Vollgeschwister?


Mehrfachvaterschaft innerhalb eines Wurfes kommt in verschiedenen Gruppen von Säugetieren und in verschiedenen Paarungssystemen vor. Mittels sieben genetischer Marker (Mikrosatelliten) untersuchten wir die Vaterschaft von Foeten in freilebenden Wildschweinen (Sus scrofa) des mediterranen Raumes. Wir benutzten das Programm CERVUS 2.0. zur Berechnung der Entdeckungswahrscheinlichkeit von mehrfacher Vaterschaft unter Einbeziehung aller Loci (D), zur Berechnung der Wahrscheinlichkeit der Vaterschaft (W), sowie zur Berechnung des statistischen Δ, welches die Zuteilung der Vaterschaft zum wahrscheinlichsten Männchen mit strikten und weniger strikten Konfidenzintervallen erlaubt. Mehrfache Vaterschaft konnte nur in einem von neun Würfen nachgewiesen werden (CERVUS Konfidenzintervall=80%). Unsere Resultate lassen deshalb vermuten, dass ein Keiler den Zugang zu empfängnisbereiten adulten Bachen unter bestimmten Bedingungen kontrollieren kann, und sie zeigen, dass mehrfache Vaterschaften in wildlebenden Wildschweinpopulationen relativ ungewöhnlich sind. Trotz des möglichen Vorkommens von Spermienkonkurrenz und/oder kryptischer Weibchenwahl scheint das “mate guarding” eine bedeutende Rolle in der sexuellen Selektion zu spielen. Um die Paarungsstrategien der Wildschweine besser zu verstehen, ist es nötig, weitere Studien durchzuführen, welche den reproduktiven Erfolg beider Geschlechter unter verschiedenen Umweltbedingungen messen.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Delgado
    • 1
  • Pedro Fernández-Llario
    • 2
  • Marisa Azevedo
    • 3
  • Albano Beja-Pereira
    • 3
  • Pedro Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecologia, Colégio Luís António VerneyUniversidade de ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología y GeologiaInstituto de Enseñanza Secundaría “Santa Lucía del Trampal”Alcuéscar, CáceresSpain
  3. 3.Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade de Recursos GenéticosVairãoPortugal

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