Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Hormonal Control of Male Reproductive Behaviour in Fishes: A Stickleback Perspective

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Behaviour

Male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus, show pronounced reproductive behaviour including paternal care, and go through a number of nesting cycles during their breeding season. Each nesting cycle consists of a sexual phase followed by a parental phase. In common with other studied fishes showing parental care, plasma levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11kT) in stickleback males are high during the sexual phase and low during the subsequent parental phase. Gonadectomy-replacement studies have clearly demonstrated that those male reproductive behaviours expressed during the sexual phase, including territoriality, nestbuilding and courtship, are strongly influenced by androgens, notably 11kT. However, while androgens play an important role in initiating the onset of reproductive behaviour, they appear to play a more permissive role once the males have entered their nesting cycle. More so, present evidence indicates that paternal behaviour such as fanning occurs independent of the androgens.

The very high plasma 11kT levels (300-400 ng/ml) observed in male sticklebacks during the sexual phase stimulates both sexual behaviour and the development of the pronounced male secondary characters, notably kidney hypertrophy and spiggin production. In contrast to the three-spined stickleback, male fifteen-spined sticklebacks, Spinachia spinachia, which also exhibit pronounced kidney hypertrophy, show much lower plasma 11kT levels (c. 12 ng/ml) during the nest-building period. This suggests that the unusually high 11kT levels shown by the three-spined stickleback males is not a function of spiggin production alone, and possibly reflects more the pronounced differences in sexual behaviour shown between the two species. While a role for androgens in the control of sexual (courtship) behaviour in the stickleback is unequivocal, further studies are needed to determine the role of other hormones/neuropeptides in the control of parental behaviour.


Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation