Data from: Female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta L.) rarely remate during nesting season
Lasala, Jacob; Hughes, Colin; Wyneken, Jeanette (2020), Data from: Female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta L.) rarely remate during nesting season, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t38b3k2
The goal of this study was to assess the consequences of single versus multiple paternity by identifying paternity of clutches per female to identify if there were detectable costs or benefits. Multiple mating can occur when the benefits of mating outweigh the costs, but if costs and benefits are equal, no pattern is expected. Previous research on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) populations found male-biased breeding sex ratios and multiple mating by many females nesting in southwestern Florida. A sample of nesting loggerhead females who laid more than one nest over the course of the season and a subset of their hatchlings were examined from 36 clutches in 2016 on Sanibel Island, Florida. Males that fathered hatchlings in the first clutch sampled were identified in subsequent clutches. Interestingly, 75% of the females analyzed had mated singly. No male was represented in more than one female’s clutches. The results suggest that females likely mate at the beginning of the season and use stored sperm for multiple clutches. Evidence for mating between laying events was limited. There was no consistent pattern across the subsequent multiple paternity clutches, suggesting benefits to loggerhead females likely equal their costs and subsequent mating is likely determined by female preference.