Reproductive behavior, spawning success and mate choice of the lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus L., in Newfoundland

Goulet, Denis Charles (1985) Reproductive behavior, spawning success and mate choice of the lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus L., in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

A field study in Broad Cove, Newfoundland, was conducted to describe the reproductive behavior, mate selection and spawning success of the lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus. -- Prior to courtship male lumpfish exhibited a characteristic nuptial coloration consisting of a greyish-black body and orange-red ventral surface and fins. After an extended courtship involving nest site cleaning, caressing and quivering, females released gametes. Following fertilization, males engaged in molding behavior manipulating the eggs into the nest site producing funnel-like depressions in the egg mass. -- Males remained with the eggs throughout the incubation period exhibiting parental behaviors essential for egg development and hatching. Parental care behaviors of males were independent of male size. Pectoral fanning and puffing were the predominant parental care behaviors exhibited throughout the incubation period. Puffing behavior appeared to increase as the eggs neared hatching. During hatching emergent larvae were swept from the nest site by male fanning and puffing behaviors. -- Qualities of the male and characteristics of the nest site were tested as criteria for mate choice, and their effect on male spawning success was evaluated. The number of eggs guarded was not correlated with male length. Nest site location variables; depth, distance offshore and distance to the nearest male were not related to spawning success. Nest topography and nest site concealment were also not significant criteria for female choice. -- The hatching success of an egg mass was not predictable on the basis of the size of the guarding male. Guarding males, regardless of size, were unable to defend their eggs from predation by cunners, Tautogolabrus adspersus. Hatching success of eggs was also independent of nest characteristics. Most egg masses hatched regardless of the characteristics of the nest site. Female lumpfish, therefore, may increase the probability that some of their eggs will hatch by spawning with a number of males.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4112
Item ID: 4112
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 66-72.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 1985
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Lumpfish--Reproduction

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