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Simultaneous courtship and parenting in males and sex role reversal in females of the haremic bluebanded goby, Lythrypnus dalli

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While males typically compete for females, species with female biased sex ratios and/or large male investment in offspring care often exhibit reversed sex roles. Here we investigated, in a haremic fish species, the bluebanded goby, Lythrypnus dalli, the impact of male and female courtship behaviour on male reproductive success, measured as the total number of eggs in the nest and total number of developed eggs. Reproductive success was not associated with rates of male behaviour, such as parenting, approaching and courtship, but was associated with rates of female courtship. Consistent with predictions for a role-reversed reproductive strategy, only males demonstrated nest care and females exhibited high rates of courtship and intrasexual competition, such that alpha females interrupted courtship solicitations by beta females. Overall, these data are consistent with sex role reversal in L. dalliand show that the expression of male courtship behaviour does not interfere with paternal care.

Affiliations: 1: aDepartment of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2: bNeuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA

10.1163/1568539X-00003262
/content/journals/10.1163/1568539x-00003262
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2015-05-29
2017-09-25

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