Courting Failure in a Pencilfish, Nannostomus b. beckfordi

Authors

  • Morton B. Caplan,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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    • 2

      Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto M5S 1A1, Ontario, Canada. (Please address correspondence to second author.)

  • D. W. Dunham

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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    • 2

      Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto M5S 1A1, Ontario, Canada. (Please address correspondence to second author.)


Abstract

We analysed a sample of 4341 activity bouts from 12 male Nannostomus b. beckfordi interacting with ♀♀. Only 22 % of the gamopractic bouts ended in spawning. In 50 % of the bouts the pair separated without spawning or interference, partly as a result of male aggression. Interference frcm conspecifics was also a major cause of failure, terminating 28 % of the gamopractic bouts. Successful courtship bouts contain more gamopractic behaviour than do abortive bouts, even in the first 6 s, and also show greater stereotypy.

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