The tale of the bad stepfather: male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus L. recognize foreign eggs in their manipulated nest by egg cues alone

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The ability to discriminate between own and foreign eggs was investigated in brood-caring male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus. Males totally cannibalized clutches that contained both foreign and their own eggs significantly more often than sham-manipulated control clutches that only contained their own eggs. These results show that caring males are able to recognize the presence of foreign eggs by egg cues alone.

Keywords: Gasterosteus aculeatus; cannibalism; kin recognition; paternal care; stickleback

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn, An der Immenburg 1, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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