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Spawning and maternal‐care behaviours of a copulating sculpin, Radulinopsis taranetzi

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The fertilization mode, and spawning and egg‐care behaviours of the sculpin Radulinopsis taranetzi were investigated in the laboratory. Embryonic development began only after the eggs came into contact with sea water. Females spawned c. 1000 eggs and covered them with sand using their pectoral and caudal fins. Unlike other cottids, the females guarded the egg masses after spawning. During the parental period, the supramaxillary lamina and mandibular lamina of females extended to form a disc‐like structure, which was used to ‘suck’ water from near the surface of the egg mass. The frequency and duration of this ‘sucking’ behaviour increased gradually until hatching, which occurred after 23–26 days at 8° C. The oxygen consumption of the embryos was positively related to the ‘sucking’ activity. All females in this study spawned only once during the spawning season, in contrast with the paternal‐care copulating cottids, which are multiple spawners.

Keywords: copulation; maternal care; mouth skin; single spawner; spawning; sucking

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Usujiri Fisheries Laboratory, Hokkaido University, Minami-Kayabe, Hokkaido 041-1613, Japan

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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