Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 8, Issue 3–4, pp 293–300 | Cite as

Breeding behavior and early life history of the waccamaw killifish,Fundulus waccamensis

  • Peggy W. Shute
  • David G. Lindquist
  • John R. Shute
Other paper from the conference


The territorial, courtship and spawning behavior ofFundulus waccamensis was investigated in the field and laboratory. Spawning occurs from April to August. Sexual dimorphism is manifested through dichromatism, genitalia, morphometric differences and contact structures. In nature, nuptial males vigorously defend circular territories and court entering females by circling them, sidling, ‘J’ shaping and spawning in the sand substrate. In the aquarium, males perform eight advertisement motor patterns during courtship, of which dipping and flashing are most frequent. The female is relatively inactive, performing only two basic acts. The maximum number of mature eggs per ovary is 120. Both mature egg numbers and total egg numbers are highly correlated with standard length. Recently fertilized eggs are colorless and adhesive. The newly hatched young is well developed and relatively large in size.


Breeding season Nuptial dichromatism Courtship Agonistic Territorial Sexual behavior Mating Gonadal development Eggs Larvae Egg burying Cyprinodontid 


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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy W. Shute
    • 1
  • David G. Lindquist
    • 1
  • John R. Shute
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of North Carolina - WilmingtonWilmingtonU.S.A.

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