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Nest guarding in a damselfish: evidence of a role for parasites

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A potential effect of parasitism on male egg loss while guarding was tested using damselfish Stegastes planifrons. Despite an apparent low energetic cost of the parasite on the male condition, there was a significant positive relationship between egg loss and parasite load. These data provide the first evidence that parasites could play a role in male guarding behaviour. The effect of the parasite could have resulted in low male condition compensated by an increase in filial cannibalism or in a lesser ability to protect the nest from predators.

Keywords: damselfish; filial cannibalism; monogenea

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Laboratoire de Parasitologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive UMR CNRS 5555, Université de Perpignan, 52, Avenue Paul Alduy, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France

Publication date: April 1, 2006


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