The effect of nest aggregation on the reproductive behaviour of the peacock blenny Salaria pavo

J Fish Biol. 2009 Mar;74(4):754-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02153.x.


The effect of nest aggregation in courtship behaviour was tested experimentally in an ecologically constrained, sex-role reversed population of the peacock blenny Salaria pavo. Mixed sex groups of eight males and eight females were tested in experimental tanks, containing eight potential nests either aggregated or dispersed. In the aggregated treatment, males spent more time inside their nests and monopolized other potential nests, causing a female-biased operational sex ratio (OSR). In the aggregated treatment, females also expressed more courtship behaviour. The results in general support the prediction that the aggregation of nests promotes male monopolization of potential nests, resulting in fewer nest-holding males and therefore a female-biased OSR that leads to the reversal of sex roles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agonistic Behavior / physiology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nesting Behavior / physiology*
  • Perciformes / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*