Why pair? Evidence of aggregative mating in a socially monogamous marine fish (Siganus doliatus, Siganidae)

Fox, Rebecca J., Bellwood, David R., and Jennions, Michael D. (2015) Why pair? Evidence of aggregative mating in a socially monogamous marine fish (Siganus doliatus, Siganidae). Royal Society Open Science, 2. 150252. pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Many species live in stable pairs, usually to breed and raise offspring together, but this cannot be assumed. Establishing whether pairing is based on mating, or an alternative cooperative advantage, can be difficult, especially where species show no obvious sexual dimorphism and where the act of reproduction itself is difficult to observe. In the tropical marine fishes known as rabbitfish (Siganidae), half of extant species live in socially monogamous, territorial pairs. It has been assumed that partnerships are for mating, but the reproductive mode of pairing rabbitfish is currently unconfirmed. Using passive acoustic telemetry to track movements of fishes belonging to one such species (Siganus doliatus), we provide the first evidence that paired adult fish undertake highly synchronized migrations with multiple conspecifics on a monthly cycle. All tagged individuals migrated along the same route in three consecutive months and were absent from home territories for 2–3 days just after the new moon. The timing and directionality of migrations suggest that S. doliatus may form spawning aggregations, offering the potential for exposure to multiple reproductive partners. The finding raises fundamental questions about the basis of pairing, mate choice and partnership longevity in this family.

Item ID: 44317
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2054-5703
Keywords: coral reef fish, pairing, reproduction, social systems, spawning aggregation
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© 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 08:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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