Reproductive behavior in the annual fish Austrolebias reicherti Loureiro & García 2004 (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)

Daniel García, Marcelo Loureiro, Bettina Tassino
2008 Neotropical Ichthyology  
Annual fishes inhabit temporary ponds that dry out seasonally and the adaptations to survive this extreme condition include high metabolic rates and an elaborate courtship behavior which ends in the deposition of drought-resistant eggs, capable of going through diapause stages in the substrate. The pronounced sexual dimorphism that these fishes show suggests that sexual selection could play a key role in the differentiation, speciation and evolution of this diverse group of fishes. However,
more » ... ishes. However, there is scarce information about their reproductive isolation mechanisms, including detailed analysis of courtship signals. Herein, we analyzed, qualitatively and quantitatively, the reproductive behavior of Austrolebias reicherti. The behavioral units recognized in this study correspond with the previous analysis of other species of annual fishes. The most frequent unit in males was the lateral display where specific morphological and coloration patterns are displayed to the female. The female's high relative frequency and time of quietness suggest that this unit may have an evaluation role during courtship. In addition to visual displays during courtship, males perform vibrations of the dorsal and anal fins as well as body undulations; these indicate that mechanical signals may be important for attracting females. Our results support the hypothesis of multimodal signals. The conservation of behavioral patterns in courtship displays within Austrolebias suggests that species-level recognition and the barrier to hybridization may not occur at this stage, unless quantitative differences can be identified.
doi:10.1590/s1679-62252008000200012 fatcat:ytixp6zg6fckpgd4wg6yqve74a