Animals & Wildlife Magazine

The Mosquitofish Prefers It Quick!

By Frontiergap @FrontierGap

In the face of predators, long, passionate sexual encounters are not a luxury some male Bahamas mosquitofish can afford, and it has now been shown that they have evolved genitalia to match this un-luxurious lifestyle.

The mosquitofish prefers it quick!

Image courtesy of Donald Hines Reproduction is a risky business for animals, particularly for males. During active searches for females, mate calling and courting, males are vulnerable to predators. Even mating itself poses a challenge, as two agile individuals are transformed into one large lumbering prey item. As a consequence, animals which are susceptible to predation have reduced the time with which they spend searching, calling and courting and have reduced the duration of any one mating event. For example, Acharya and McNeil (1998) found moths to reduce mate seeking behavior under risk from bat predation, whereas Dunn et al. (2008) showed decreased courtship in the fiddler crab. Males of Bahamas mosquitofish (Gambusia hubbsi) are no different and have evolved shorter mating events when under threat from predators. Justa Heinen-Kay and Brian Langerhans from North Carolina State University have now shown that the shape of the males’ genitalia has adapted for these brief encounters. The research team collected Bahamas mosquitofish from blue holes (water filled vertical caves), either without or with predators present (e.g. the bigmouth sleeper, Gobiomorus dormitor). Fish collected from predator infested holes were found to have gonopodia (genitalia) with a more elongate distal tip which had more densely positioned bony segments. A longer tip was hypothesised to allow for sperm to be deposited further inside the female, increasing the efficiency of insemination and fertilisation during short mating events. In contrast, males from holes without predators would not require this altered shape as a greater time is spent with females, allowing for more cooperation and ease of sperm transfer. This study represents one of the few examples of genitalia shape divergence in fish resulting from predation risk. By Matthew Everatt Find out about marine conservation projects 

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Tips for Being in Kuala Lumpur During Ramadan

    Tips Being Kuala Lumpur During Ramadan

    Malaysia is a predominately Muslim country. During the month of Ramadan (usually in August), devout Muslims fast during the day, say several prayers and then... Read more

    By  Davedtc
  • Google Image Search As Art

    Google Image Search

    Dina Kelberman is the brains behind I’m Google; an endless feed of visually similar pictures from... Read more

    By  Expectlabs
  • Even in Africa

    Even Africa

    When William Easterly reviewed Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, he called “disturbing” Ridley’s use of the word “even” regarding Africa, as in saying... Read more

    By  Fsrcoin
  • The Angels Are Here to Support You…even When You Doubt It

    Angels Here Support You…even When Doubt

    Though officially spring has started, the last couple of days we have had snowflakes fluttering down on us here in the Netherlands. Even though it might make on... Read more

    By  Angellightheart
  • "I Can’t Even Begin to Describe the Mental Conflict That It Creates"

    Can’t Even Begin Describe Mental Conflict That Creates"

    Are those the words of someone witnessing some traumatic event like a serious car accident, a school shooting or perhaps the images of civilian casualties in a... Read more

    By  Brutallyhonest
  • English- as It Is.

    Many call it funny, I find it lovely. You don't necessarily write it, the way you call it. Some find it crazy while, I find it nice. It can make a feet smell an... Read more

    By  Brinda
  • Redfoot: Make It Quick

    Redfoot: Make Quick

    Romi Dyron, Alex Topornycky, Kurt Gottwald and Chris Yetner are Redfoot, a NYC based pop band who mix folk with psychedelic rock. Read more

    By  Hctf