Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda

Erica P. van Rooij, Lee A. Rollins, Clare E. Holleley, Simon C. Griffith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1550
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Estrildid
  • Extra-pair paternity
  • Infidelity
  • Polyandry
  • Sexual selection
  • Social monogamy


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