11-Ketotestosterone inhibits the alternative mating tactic in sneaker males of the peacock blenny, Salaria pavo

Brain, Behavior and Evolution
R F OliveiraMatthew S Grober


In the peacock blenny, Salaria pavo, a species with courtship sex-role reversal, smaller, younger males mimic the courtship behavior and the nuptial coloration of females in order to get access to nests during spawning and to parasitize egg fertilization from nest-holder males. Later in their life, sneakers transform both morphologically and behaviorally into nest-holder males. In the present paper we investigate the activational role of 11-ketotestosterone (KT), the most potent androgen in most teleost species, to promote the switch between tactics in sneaker males of S. pavo. Sneakers were implanted either with KT or with control (i.e. castor oil) silastic implants. A week after implantation they were subjected to a set of behavioral tests and morphometric measurements. KT treatment promoted the differentiation of secondary sex characters, such as the anal glands, and inhibited the expression of female courtship behavior. KT-treated sneakers also showed a trend toward less frequent display of female nuptial coloration. There was no effect of KT treatment on the expression of typical nest-holder male behavior. Finally, there was no effect of KT treatment on the number or soma size of arginine vasotocin neurons in the preoptic ...Continue Reading


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