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Cannibalize or care?: The role of perceived paternity in the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Ekologi.
2008 (English)In: Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, Vol. 62, 1467-1475 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Parental care is a costly part of reproduction. Hence, natural selection should favor males which avoid caring for unrelated young. However, the decision to abandon or reduce care requires cues which are evaluated to give information on potential reproductive value of the offspring. The prediction that male sand gobies, Pomatoschistus minutus, care for foreign eggs as long as they were spawned in their own nest and at least some of such cues are fulfilled was tested. Egg-guarding males that had recently taken part in a spawning event were given a clutch of eggs that was sired either by themselves or another male, in either their own or another male's aquarium. Males that had not taken part in a spawning event were used as controls and were given eggs sired by another male. We measured the amount of filial cannibalism and nest building. Control group males did not care for eggs and ate them all before rebuilding the nest. In the other treatments, there were no significant effects of paternity, though males moved to another male's aquarium increased their clutch area threshold and completely consumed larger clutches than males that were not moved. There was no intermediate response in any treatment in the form of increased partial filial cannibalism or less well-constructed nests. Our results suggest that egg-guarding males cannot distinguish between eggs sired by themselves and those sired by other males but are able to react to cues indicating paternity state. Males do not adopt eggs to attract females in P. minutus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 62, 1467-1475 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15747ISI: 000256475800010OAI: diva2:182267
Available from: 2008-12-09 Created: 2008-12-09 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Ola
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