Endocrine correlates of male polymorphism and alternative reproductive tactics in the Azorean rock-pool blenny, Parablennius sanguinolentus parvicornis

General and Comparative Endocrinology
Rui Filipe OliveiraR S Santos


In the Azorean rock-pool blenny male sexual polymorphism occurs. Larger and older males (M+ males) fully express male secondary sex characters (SSC), particularly an anal gland that produces a sex pheromone, whereas smaller and younger sexually active males do not express SSC (M- males). Two mating tactic types can be identified among M+ males: nest-holders that establish nests and court females and floaters that move around in the breeding area and try to achieve parasitic fertilizations and/or to take over nests. Two behavioral tactic types can also be identified within M- males: satellites that are associated with particular nests and actively participate in territorial defense (when females go inside the nest to spawn they try to enter to fertilize some of the eggs) and sneakers that do not help nest holders (when spawning occurs they also try to enter the nest to fertilize eggs). It was found that M+ males have significantly higher levels of 11-ketotestosterone (KT), but not testosterone (T), than M- males [M+ male androgen levels (mean +/- SE): total T = 11.6 +/- 3.0 ng ml(-1), total KT = 4.5 +/- 1.1 ng ml(-1); M- male androgen levels (mean +/- SE): total T = 9.6 +/- 1.0 ng ml(-1), total KT = 2.5 +/- 1.1 ng ml(-1)]. There...Continue Reading


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