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Keywords:

  • Bony fixhes;
  • Osteichthyes;
  • parental care parental roles;
  • reproductive behaviour

Parental care occurs in a diversity of fishes, but predominantly among freshwater groups. Among the approximately 422 families of bony fishes (Osteichthyes), 89 are presently known to exhibit parental care. Grouping these families into eight categories, based on the sex of the care-giver(s), reveals male parental care is as common or more common than female parental care. Although unusual among vertebrates, parental care by males alone is very common among bony fishes. Lists of families, the forms of parental care exhibited, the modes of fertilization, the environments in which reproduction occurs, and the sources of documentation are presented. An extensive bibliography and index are provided.