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Precopulatory Mate Guarding, Mating System and Pairing Parental Care in Hyale rubra (Peracarida; Amphipoda; Gammaridae)

Author(s): Kim, Sunghan

Journal: Journal of Ecology and Field Biology
ISSN 1975-020X

Volume: 31;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Mate guarding | Mating system | Parental care

Mating behaviour of the gammarid amphipod, Hyale rubra, was observed. H. rubra displayedprecopulatory mate guarding: males clasped females with their gnathopods during copulation, forming a pair.Males also participated in embryo care during the incubation period. The population was small, and the sex ratiowas almost equal. Energy allocation for mating effort and parental effort in the two sexes appear to be almostequal. The mating system was sequentially polygamous (or promiscuous) and there was conspicuous sexualdimorphism in the size of the gnathopod, which was used for mate guarding. However, there appears to berelatively weak sexual competition for mating opportunities despite conspicuous sexual dimorphism. H. rubra didnot display territorial competition or external fertilization. Nevertheless, the male provided paternal care. SinceH. rubra inhabit tide pools and live on algae, the polygamous mating system of the species can be explainedby the polygyny threshold model. The evolution of mate guarding and parental care may have been favored bythe species’ low population density and harsh environments, an interpretation consistent with the optimalitymodel.

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