Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 33–37 | Cite as

Paternal care and egg survival both increase with clutch size in the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas

  • R. C. Sargent


In some species of fishes with paternal care, females prefer to spawn with males who are already defeding eggs; moreover, in many species, paternal care increases with the number of eggs that a male is defending. If egg survival depends on the level of paternal care, and is largely independent of egg number, then egg survival should increase with clutch size. This result would provide a potential adaptive mechanism for female preference for males with eggs. I examined the effects of clutch size on paternal care and egg survival in the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas, and found that both increased with male clutch size.


Defend Clutch Size Adaptive Mechanism Female Preference Fathead Minnow 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Sargent
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, T.H. Morgan School of Biological SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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