Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Reproductive Success Associated with Territoriality, Sneaking, and Grouping in Male Rose Bitterlings, Rhodeus ocellatus (Pisces: Cyprinidae)

  • Yoshihiko Kanoh


The spawning success of male rose bitterlings, Rhodeus ocellatus, adopting an alternative reproductive style, was estimated through behavioural data and electrophoretic paternal analyses in field observations and experiments. Three mating patterns were observed: territoriality, sneaking, and grouping. Mating patterns depended on a male's relative size and on local male density (the number of males around a spawning spot: a mussel). Spawning patterns (pair spawning, pair spawning with sneaker, and group spawning) varied with local male density. Time-budget data of the territorial males indicated a trade-off between chasing and courtship behaviour as local male density changed. Females deposited appoximately only 1 egg per egg-laying into the mussels. As a result of isozyme analysis, a minimum of 12% (two out of 17) of the offspring in the sample were found to have been fathered by sneaker males in pair spawning with sneaker. I scored through behavioural data the mating success per spawning for each pattern, on an individual basis. The average reproductive success per spawning for each pattern was: territorial (0.61), sneaking (0.31) and grouping (0.11), and thus the successes of the patterns were not equal. Accordingly, the alternative reproductive styles of male rose bitterlings are best interpreted as alternative phenotypes in a conditional behaviour.

alternative reproductive patterns isozyme electrophoresis pre-oviposition ejaculation group spawning 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihiko Kanoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyOsaka Kyoiku UniversityOsakaJapan

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