Sexual selection and reproductive behaviour in gobiid fishes

Updated 2003-06-24

In most animals, males play the active role in courtship and compete for mates, whereas females are discriminatory in their mate choice. As a result of this, males in many animals have evolved costly ornamental traits such as gaudy coloration and long tails. In some species, females are also ornamented, but the reasons for this are poorly known. So far, the focus of most studies have been on sexual selection acting on males, although, under some circumstances males are expected to be choosy and females competitive. Despite the large interest the field of sexual selection has received over the last decades there are still challenging areas which are not fully understood, for example, the function and evolution of secondary sexual ornaments, the evolution of mate preferences and the existence of sex-roles. The aim of this project is to test questions related to these areas. The project will not only focus on selection acting on males, but will also investigate sexual selection acting on females, i.e. male mate choice and female-female competition. The project combines field studies with laboratory experiments. The animals under study are some gobiid fishes with paternal care and conventional sex roles: the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus, the common goby, P. microps and the two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens. The project will, for example, investigate costs and benefits of mate choice, the function of both male and female sexual ornaments, and the plasticity of reproductive behaviour and sex-roles.

Time frame

Project time span
1990 - 2010
Data collection
not specified
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Elisabet Forsgren
Kristineberg Marine Research Station 450 34 Fiskeb├Ąckskil Sweden
+46 (0)523 185 00
+46 (0)523 185 02

Parameters and Media

Not specified


Regions studied

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
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