Alternative mating tactics of the gobiid fish Bathygobius fuscus
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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.
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