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J Exp Zool A Comp Exp Biol. 2005 Oct 1;303(10):922-6.

Reproductive allocation in Aidablennius sphynx (Teleostei, Blenniidae): females lay more eggs faster when paired with larger males.

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Dipartimento Di Biologia, Università di Padova, Via U. Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy.


Individuals are expected to invest more in current reproductive effort when paired with a partner of higher than average quality. Aidablennius sphynx is an external fertilizing fish with paternal care in which females gain direct benefits from spawning with large males, but often 'make do' with small males. In this study, female reproductive responses to large and small males were investigated. When paired with large males, females spawned more eggs per unit time (i.e., at a faster rate). There was no difference in the size of the eggs spawned by females in relation to partner size. By ovipositing at a faster rate, females may have allocated more reproductive effort to large males. In addition, since small males are known to release far fewer sperm than large males, females may have reduced their spawn rate with small males as a tactic to ensure fertilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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