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Parental Behaviour in the Blue Gourami Trichogaster Trichopter Us (Pisces, Belontiidae) and Its Induction During Exposure To Varying Numbers of Conspecific Eggs

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1. The parental behaviour of the male blue gourami, Trichogaster trichopterus, is described. The principal components of parental care are mouthing and retrieving eggs, and egg-eating inhibition. 2. Males spawning for the first time mouthed or retrieved within 5 sec of their first contact with eggs. The frequency of mouthing approached maximal levels after the first or second spawning act which yielded eggs. 3. Parental behaviour was induced in naive males by presentation of conspecific eggs. 4. The probability of the development of parental behaviour was significantly affected by the number of stimulus eggs presented. 5. In those fish which developed parental behaviour, retrieving usually began suddenly within 0.5-2.5 min of the first contact with the eggs and was then shown consistently. 6. Three of 4 fish tested eventually developed parental behaviour when repeatedly presented with 100 eggs, a stimulus too weak to induce parental behaviour initially.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


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