Meeting Abstract

P1.196  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Egg laying and development in Bluebanded Gobies WILLIS, MC*; PRADHAN, DS; NAUDE, PW; SOLOMON-LANE, TK; GROBER, MS; Georgia State Univ., Atlanta; Georgia State Univ., Atlanta; Univ. of Georgia, Athens; Georgia State Univ., Atlanta; georgia State Univ., Atlanta mwillis9@student.gsu.edu

Many species of seasonally breeding vertebrates have multiple, overlapping broods during the breeding season. As a result, there may be considerable temporal overlap in territory defense, sexual, and mating behaviors during the nesting phase. The bluebanded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) is a hermaphroditic fish that commonly lives in groups consisting of one dominant male and a harem of females. During the breeding season, male L. dalli court females and persuade them to enter his nest and lay eggs. After spawning, the male provides all parental care, while simultaneously courting/subordinating his females and defending his territory. Males with eggs in their nest have higher levels of circulating androgens compared to males without eggs. To better understand the cues that induce male parenting, it is critical to understand egg laying and development in this species. During mid-breeding season, social groups (N=41) of wild-caught L. dalli, each consisting of one male and three females were established. Each group was provided with an artificial nest, and parenting behavior of each male was observed at three weeks. The quantity and physical appearance of the eggs were recorded twice daily. There was an average of ~6.8 d before the first appearance of eggs and ~2.9 days between the appearance of eggs and the fertilization of the clutch. Further evaluation of these data will reveal patterns that are associated with multiple clutches of eggs. This study provides critical insights into understanding the breeding ecology of L. dalli, which will be useful for future projects.