Re: NANFA-- Happy Birthday Chris!, now darter sex

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 27 Aug 2001 20:11:46 -0400

Thanks, Chris! I just came back from doing a lecture on sexual selection, of
which female mate choice is an important part. I showed a video of dancing
birds in various leks; I suppose I should beg Roger Thoma for a copy of his
redhorse sex video. And I'm glad Rex Strange is doing well.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>The following is to prevent this from being a gratuitous off-topic,
>non-native-fish-related post:
>Among egg-mimic darters, females go for males with knobbier fins
> Egg-mimic darters comprise four described species in which breeding
>males develop large knobs on the ends of rays above the second dorsal fin.
>The knobs are similar in size and color to darter eggs, and are used to
>attract females to the nest, presumably because females are more likely to
>add eggs to a nest in which eggs are already present. Rex Meade Strange of
>Southeast Missouri State University tested female preference for male fin
>knobs in a series of aquarium experiments. Using wild-caught specimens of
>lollypop darter (Etheostoma neopterum), guardian darter, (E. oophylax), and
>egg-mimic darter (E. pseudovulatum), Strange removed the fin ornamentation
>from one of a pair of males and allowed a female to choose between knobbed
>and non-knobbed males. In all 33 trials, females deposited no eggs in
>guarded by the non-knobbed males.
> "The data presented here represent the first empirical evidence
>supporting the hypothesis that female mate choice plays a role in
>maintaining fin ornamentation in egg-mimic darters," Strange concluded. His
>study appeared in the June 2001 issue (vol. 16, no. 2) of the Journal of
>Freshwater Ecology.

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