Variation in age at first reproduction of male Japanese fluvial sculpin induced by the timing of parental reproduction
The relationships between age and size at reproduction and lifetime reproductive output of male Japanese fluvial sculpin Cottus pollux were estimated by a mark-recapture study. Although all males were physiologically capable of breeding at age 2 years, age at first successful reproduction varied amongst individuals. Males with delayed reproduction had lower net reproductive rate than males that bred at age 2 years on average suggesting that age at first reproduction was a conditional strategy. Males that delayed reproduction were significantly smaller at age 1 and 2 years than males that bred at age 2 years. Despite no significant difference in body size of hatched yolk-sac larvae between the early and late phase of the breeding season, by May of the first year of life, progeny from nests in the early phase had hatched earlier and were larger than those from the nests in the late phase. The results suggested an important effect of timing of reproduction of parents on the growth and subsequent age at first reproduction of their progeny.