Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Reproductive behavior, egg trading, and correlates of male mating success in the simultaneous hermaphrodite, Serranus tabacarius

  • Christopher W. Petersen
Full paper

Synopsis

Serranus tabacarius (Serranidae), the tobaccofish, is a simultaneous hermaphrodite which belongs to a group of seabasses that exhibit a wide variety of social and mating systems. The reproductive behavior of tobaccofish is similar to other hermaphroditic seabasses, with individuals assuming sex-specific spawning behaviors that allow for the assignment of male and female roles in a mating sequence. Virtually all matings involved pairs of individuals, although streaking, an alternative male mating tactic, was observed once. Pairs engage in egg trading, where individuals divide their daily clutch into a series of sequentially released parcels and take turns releasing eggs for their partner to fertilize. Individuals mate over a late afternoon spawning period with a number of partners sequentially. Larger individuals have both more total matings and more spawning partners. Egg trading is not symmetrical, the number of male and female matings for an individual in a spawning sequence is often unequal. Overall, the ratio of male to female matings increases with individual size. Large individuals are socially dominant, chase conspecifics during the reproductive period, and are more likely to end a spawning bout with a partner immediately after mating in the male role. In addition, larger individuals are less likely to reciprocate female matings by a partner, either by only mating once (as a male) in a spawning bout or by mating consecutively as a male within a series of matings. Although larger individuals show this relative specialization in the male role, they maintain their simultaneous hermaphroditism and obtain a substantial percentage of their mating success through female function. Egg trading appears to reduce the opportunity for large individuals to specialize as pure males, and thus interacts with the environmental potential for polygamy in shaping the mating system and sex allocation pattern in this species.

Key words

Mating system Cooperation Sexual selection Caribbean Serranidae 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Axelrod, R. W.D. Hamilton. 1981. The evolution of cooperation. Science 211: 1390–1396.Google Scholar
  2. Barlow, G.W. 1975. On the sociobiology of some hermaphroditic serranid fishes, the hamlets, in Puerto Rico. Mar. Biol. 33: 295–300.Google Scholar
  3. Clark, E. 1959. Functional hermaphroditism and self-fertilization in a serranid fish. Science 129: 215–216.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, E. 1965. Mating of groupers. Nat. Hist. 74: 22–25.Google Scholar
  5. Emlen, S.T. & L.W. Oring. 1977. Ecology, sexual selection, and the evolution of mating systems. Science 197: 215–233.Google Scholar
  6. Fischer, E.A. 1980. The relationship between mating system and simultaneous hermaphroditism in the coral reef fish, Hypoplectrus nigricans (Serranidae). Anim. Behav. 28: 620–633.Google Scholar
  7. Fischer, E.A. 1981. Sexual allocation in a simultaneously hermaphroditic coral reef fish. Amer. Nat. 117: 64–82.Google Scholar
  8. Fischer, E.A. 1984. Egg trading in the chalk bass, Serranus tortugarum, a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Z. Tierpsychol. 66: 143–151.Google Scholar
  9. Fischer, E.A. 1986. Mating systems in simultaneously hermaphroditic fishes. pp. 776–784. In: T. Ureyo, R. Arai, T. Taniuchi & K. Matsuura (Ed.) Indo-Pacific Fish Biology: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Indo-Pacific Fishes, Ichthyological Society of Japan Tokyo.Google Scholar
  10. Fischer, E.A. 1988. Simultaneous hermaphroditism, tit-for-tat, and the evolutionary stability of social systems. Ethol. Sociobiol. 9: 119–136.Google Scholar
  11. Fischer, E.A. & C.W. Petersen. 1986. Social behavior of males and simultaneous hermaphrodites in the lantern bass. Ethology 73: 235–246.Google Scholar
  12. Fischer, E.A. & C.W. Petersen. 1987. The evolution of sexual patterns in the seabasses. Bioscience 37: 482–489.Google Scholar
  13. Gross, M.R. 1984. Sunfish, salmon, and the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies. pp. 55–76. In: G.W. Potts & R.J. Wooton (Ed.) Fish Reproduction: Strategies and Tactics, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  14. Hastings, P.A. & C.W. Petersen. 1986. A novel sexual reproductive pattern in serranid fishes: simultaneous hermaphrodites and secondary males in Serranus fasciatus. Env. Biol. Fish. 15: 59–68.Google Scholar
  15. Lejeune, P., J.-M. Boderoux & J. Voss. 1980. Observation sur comportment reproducteur de Serranus scriba Linné (Pisces, Serranidae), poisson hermaphrodite synchrone. Cybium 10: 73–80.Google Scholar
  16. Leonard, J.L. 1990. The hermaphrodite's dilemma. J. Theor. Biol. 147: 361–372.Google Scholar
  17. Leonard, J.L. 1991. Sexual conflict and the mating systems of simultaneously hermaphroditic gastropods. Amer. Malacol. Bull. 9: 45–58.Google Scholar
  18. Leonard, J.L. 1993. Sexual conflict in simultaneous hermaphrodites: evidence from serranid fishes. Env. Biol. Fish. 36: 135–148.Google Scholar
  19. Leonard, J.L. & K. Lukowiak. 1984. Male-female conflict in a simultaneous hermaphrodite resolved by sperm trading. Amer. Nat. 124: 282–286.Google Scholar
  20. Leonard, J.L. & K. Lukowiak. 1985. Courtship, copulation and sperm trading in the sea slug, Navanax inermis (Opisthobranchia: Cephalaspidea). Can. J. Zool. 63: 2719–2729.Google Scholar
  21. Leonard, J.L. & K. Lukowiak. 1991. Sex and the simultaneous hermaphrodite: testing models of male-female conflict in a sea slug. Anim. Behav. 41: 255–266.Google Scholar
  22. Petersen, C.W. 1987. Reproductive behaviour and gender allocation in Serranus fasciatus, a hermaphroditic reef fish. Anim. Behav. 35: 1601–1614.Google Scholar
  23. Petersen, C.W. 1990. The relationships among population density, individual size, mating tactics, and reproductive success in a hermaphroditic fish, Serranus fasciatus. Behaviour 113: 57–80.Google Scholar
  24. Petersen, C.W. 1991. Sex allocation in hermaphroditic sea basses. Amer. Nat. 138: 650–667.Google Scholar
  25. Petersen, C.W. & E.A. Fischer. 1986. Mating system of the hermaphroditic coral-reef fish, Serranus baldwini. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 19: 171–178.Google Scholar
  26. Pressley, P.H. 1981. Pair formation and joint territoriality in a simultaneous hermaphrodite-the coral-reef fish Serranus tigrinus. Z. Tierpsychol. 56: 33–45.Google Scholar
  27. Rice, W.R. 1989. Analyzing tables of statistical tests. Evolution 43: 223–225.Google Scholar
  28. Robertson, D.R. C.W. Petersen & J.D. Brawn. 1990. Lunar reproductive cycles of benthic-brooding reef fishes: reflections of larval biology or adult biology? Ecol. Monogr. 60: 311–329.Google Scholar
  29. Sella, G. 1985. Reciprocal egg trading and brood care in a hermaphroditic polychaete worm. Anim. Behav. 33: 938–944.Google Scholar
  30. Sella, G. 1988. Reciprocation, reproductive success, and safeguards against cheating in a hermaphroditic polychaete worm, Ophyotrocha diadema Akesson,1976. Biol. Bull. 175: 212–217.Google Scholar
  31. Southwood, T.R.E. 1978. Ecological methods. Chapman & Hall, London. 524 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Thresher, R. 1980. Reef fish. Palmetto, St. Petersburg. 172 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Vehrencamp, S.L. & J.W. Bradbury. 1984. Mating systems and ecology. pp. 251–278. In: J.R. Krebs & N.B. Davies (Ed.) Behavioural Ecology, Sinaeur, Sunderland.Google Scholar
  34. Warner, R.R. 1984. Mating behavior and hermaphroditism in coral reef fishes. Amer. Sci. 72: 128–136.Google Scholar
  35. Warner, R.R. & D.R. Robertson. 1978. Sexual patterns in the labroid fishes of the western Caribbean, I: the wrasses (Labridae). Smith. Contr. Zool. 254: 1–27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher W. Petersen
    • 1
  1. 1.College of the AtlanticBar HarborUSA

Personalised recommendations