Journal of Ethology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 9–12 | Cite as

Alternative mating tactics of the gobiid fish Bathygobius fuscus

  • Masanori Taru
  • Takeshi Kanda
  • Tomoki Sunobe


The reproductive ecology of the gobiid fish Bathygobius fuscus was studied at Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan. Males of this species maintain small rock holes as a nest and females spawn an egg mass on the wall of the nest. The males employed two forms of mating tactic: nest holding and sneaking. A nest holder stayed in the nest and waited for a female to visit, whereas a sneaker intruded into a nest while a pair was engaged in reproduction. Males larger than 55 mm standard length were always nest holders; those of smaller size employed both tactics. As the larger males excluded the smaller males, the latter did not occupy a nest hole. With a decrease in the number of larger males, smaller males changed their mating tactic from sneaking to nest holding. The results suggest that male Bathygobius fuscus adopt a conditional strategy whereby they change their tactic depending on their social status.

Bathygobius fuscus Gobiidae Spawning cycle Mating tactics Conditional strategy 


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Copyright information

© Jpn Ethol Soc and Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masanori Taru
    • 1
  • Takeshi Kanda
    • 2
  • Tomoki Sunobe
    • 3
  1. 1.Marine Biology Laboratory, Faculty of Science, Toho University, 2-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi 274-8510Japan
  2. 2.Marine Science Station, Field Science Center, Miyazaki University, MiyazakiJapan
  3. 3.Natural History Museum and Institute of Chiba, ChibaJapan

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