The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 01. Multiple paternity and sperm storage in turtles


Open Access


Authors: David A. Galbraith

Abstract: Multiple paternity is the occurrence within a single clutch of offspring fathered by more than one male. This pattern may be an an adaptive feature of the mating system of turtles. Mating systems are the adaptive features of reproduction which contribute lo variation in the probability of a particular egg being fertilized by a particular sperm. Turtle populations have rarely been studied specifically in terms of multiple paternity or mating systems. Five features related to multiple paternity are discussed: spacing behaviour prior to courtship, mate-seeking and mate choice, agonistic encounters between individuals, sperm storage, and sperm competition. Several studies have examined movements and spacing behaviours in turtles, and have drawn inferences about mateseeking. At present, multiple paternity has been detected in clutches of loggerhead turtles (Caretta carella), wood turtles (Clemmys insculpta), and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). In wood turtles, a relationship between male dominance and paternity has been detected through DNA fingerprinting. Sperm storage has been demonstrated in several species, but studies of sperm competition are Jacking. Directions for future research are considered.

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.