Alternative mating tactics of the gobiid fish Bathygobiusfuscus
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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