Mating Systems, Maternal and Biparental Care in Triggerfish (Balistidae)


Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, D-8131 Seewiesen.


Groups of the triggerfish Pseudobalistes fuscus and Odonus niger were studied from the underwater laboratory Neritica in Eilat, Gulf of Akaba, in the Red Sea. Mating and the roles of the sexes during broodcare seem to depend strongly on territory size, probably determined by shelter site and food availability, and territorial control- and defendability. The discussion considers why evolution has favoured maternal broodcare in the one case and biparental in the other.