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1 October 2003 Sex determination of adult Rock Shags by molecular sexing and morphometric parameters
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Abstract

Male and female Rock Shags (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) are not obviously sexually dimorphic in plumage or size and are thus difficult to distinguish in the field. We evaluated the utility of two different DNA-based techniques for sexing adult Rock Shags. We found that the primer set 2550F/2718R (originally tested in three individuals of P. carbo), with minor differences in the forward primer, provided a consistent and simple sexing method for Rock Shags. Moreover, we obtained three reliable discriminant functions for sexing adults from three different colony sites between 42° to 47°S in coastal Patagonia, Argentina. Discriminant analysis of five external characters of adult birds indicated that head, bill, and wing lengths were the most accurate variables for use in a discriminant function model, predicting the sex of 80–86% of the birds. Males were significantly larger than females for all body measurements except for bill depth. Rock Shags showed less marked sexual dimorphism than other phalacrocoraciid species.

Flavio Quintana, Gustavo Somoza, Marcela Uhart, Carolina Cassará, Patricia Gandini, and Esteban Frere "Sex determination of adult Rock Shags by molecular sexing and morphometric parameters," Journal of Field Ornithology 74(4), 370-375, (1 October 2003). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-74.4.370
Received: 29 July 2002; Accepted: 1 January 2003; Published: 1 October 2003
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