PARENTAL REACTIONS TO YOUNG IN STICKLEBACKS (GASTEROSTEUS ACULEATUS L.) by E. FEUTH-DE BRUIJN and P. SEVENSTER (Div. Ethology, Dept. of Zoology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands) (Acc. 1-IX-1982) 1. Introduction It would seem that the very first requirement for a parenthal behaviour- system to develop is the prevention of noxious behaviour towards the off- spring. Yet, especially in the case of predators, infanticide is not an un- common event. So it becomes an interesting question how in such animals the destruction of their own eggs and young is avoided and replaced by favourable reactions. In the three-spined stickleback exactly this situation is found. Sticklebacks are predators and are in fact preying upon animals of small size including conspecific eggs and young (a.o. LEINER, 1929; HYNES, 1950; BLACK & WOOTTON, 1970; SEMLER 1971). In the parental phase of its breeding cycle, however, the male is con- fronted with his own eggs and young and the tendency to devour them has to be suppressed or cancelled. The parental behaviour of a male towards its own eggs has been the subject of an extensive study by VAN IERSEL (1953), who analysed the interplay of causal factors underlying the activity of fanning,
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1983
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