Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 12, pp 1473–1483 | Cite as

Mating and reproductive success associated with male body size in Stegastes acapulcoensis (Teleostei: Pomacentridae)

  • Ericka Urbiola-Rangel
  • Omar Chassin-NoriaEmail author


Molecular techniques enable the study of patterns and processes that are difficult to study using other methods. Specifically, population connectivity, taxonomic status and genetic mating systems can be clearly defined using these techniques. In this paper, the genetic mating system of Stegastes acapulcoensis (Fowler Fishes Acad Nat Sci Phila Monographs 6: 57–529, 1944) in the Mexican central Pacific (17–19°N, 101–105°W) was analyzed using four nuclear microsatellite loci. In this species, males are territorial and prepare a rocky substrate for spawning with the females, who oviposit tens of thousands of eggs that attach to the substrate with adhesive threads. Once a nest has been established, the male exhibits parental care to protect the eggs from predation until the larvae hatch. Twenty nests were collected from nest-guarding territorial males during the period from 2010 to 2011, and the numbers of female donors of the gametes in these nests were determined. The most common mating system found in this species was polygyny involving two to six females per nest. Larger males exhibited higher reproductive success than smaller males, guarding larger nests with more eggs from more females. Some males in this species exhibited parasitic behavior.


Genetic mating system Multiple mating Parasitic male Stegastes acapulcoensis 



The authors thank the Laboratorio Nacional de Análisis y Síntesis Ecológica (LANASE, and Dr. Víctor Rocha Ramírez (Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad-Universidad Nacional Autónonoma de México) for the support provided during the molecular analysis. The authors wish to acknowledge their use of the Maptool program for analysis and graphics in this paper. Maptool is a product of SEATURTLE.ORG (information is available at This study was supported by the Coordinación de la Investigación Científica – Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo and by a grant from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo and the LANASE (2015-250996 and 2016-271449 and 2017-280505). All specimens were collected according to the national legislation and transported to the Colección de Peces de la Facultad de Biología de la Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (CPUM-UMSNH) under Scientific Collection Registry number MICH.-PEC-227-07-09.

Compliance with ethical standards

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Biología – Centro Multidisciplinario de Estudios en BiotecnologíaUniversidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico

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