Size-assortative nest preference in a paternal brooding blenny Rhabdoblennius ellipes (Jordan & Starks)

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Abstract:

Field and laboratory studies were conducted to clarify the processes contributing to the size-assortative nest use by males of a paternal brooding blenny Rhabdoblennius ellipes. The use of natural and artificial nests by males in the field was highly size-assortative; males used smaller nests even when larger nests were available. Aquarium nest choice experiments without a competitive male strongly suggested that the size-assortative nest use by males is not the result of male–male competition for larger nests, but male preference for size-matched nests. Males were likely to choose nests on the basis of the nest entrance size rather than nest length and volume, suggesting that the size-assortative nest preference in this species is an adaptation to predation pressure against eggs and resident males.

Keywords: Blennidae; burrow; nest choice; parental care; spawning site; tide pool

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01656.x

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan 2: Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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