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Fertilization mode, sperm characteristics, mate choice and parental care patterns in Artedius spp. (Cottidae)

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The reproductive biology of three species in the genus Artedius(A. harringtoni, A. lateralis and A. fenestralis) was studied, including parental behaviour, mate choice, fertilization mode, gamete morphology and behaviour, and gonad morphology to help understand the coevolution of reproductive characteristics with potentially different modes of fertilization. In all three species, males guard multiple clutches at oviposition sites. In laboratory mate‐choice experiments, males appearred to prefer to defend sites containing eggs and were better able to attract mates at these sites. There was evidence that internal gomete association, although more pronounced in A. harringtoni, existed in all three species. Sperm behaviour and morphology and histological analysis of gonads suggested that A. fenestralis and A. lateralis were more likely to engage in typical external fertilization. The adoption of eggs and their effect on female mate‐choice patterns appearred to reduce the importance of certainty of paternity in these species, and probably increased the evolutionary stability of male parental care.
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Keywords: external fertilization; internal gamete association; mate choice; paternal care; sexual selection; sperm competition

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, 620 University Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, U.S.A. and

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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