Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Do female dingo–dog hybrids breed like dingoes or dogs?

Marina S. Cursino A , Lana Harriott B , Benjamin L. Allen C , Matthew Gentle D and Luke K.-P. Leung A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia.

B School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia.

C University of Southern Queensland, Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia.

D Pest Animal Research Centre, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: luke.leung@uq.edu.au

Australian Journal of Zoology 65(2) 112-119 https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO17005
Submitted: 21 February 2017  Accepted: 29 June 2017   Published: 25 July 2017

Abstract

Hybridisation between animals that breed once (e.g. dingoes) and twice (e.g. domestic dogs) annually may produce offspring that breed either way. This question was investigated by determining the breeding seasonality of female dingo–dog hybrids in south-east Queensland, Australia, through evaluating macroscopic and histological features of 71 female reproductive tracts. All animals were sourced from urban areas where levels of hybridisation are generally high. Most animals trapped in summer were pups less than 6 months of age. A peak of uterus diameter and weight coincided with a peak of corpus luteum in winter. The follicular phase was characterised by growing follicles, ~1–3 mm wide, in late summer and autumn. Only two of the animals (1.4%) showed out-of-season reproductive cycles: one was found with corpus luteum in summer and another in autumn. Our data clearly show that hybrids have a single annual breeding season in winter, exhibiting the same breeding seasonality as dingoes. Our findings are similar to those found in the New Guinea singing dog. Future studies should be conducted to understand and exploit the mechanism and drivers of the breeding seasonality of dingo–dog hybrids to develop more effective management of their populations.


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