Male mate choice in fishes

Robert Craig Sargent, Mart R. Gross, Eric P. Van Den Berghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Selection generally favours male competition for females, and female mate choice of males. If, however, females vary in quality, and if males are limited in the maximum number of females with which they can mate, then selection should also favour male mate choice. We report on male mate choice in two species of fishes with different mating systems: the threespine stickleback, which has male parental care, and the coho salmon, which has female parental care. In both species, males allocated their mating effort in direct proportion to female quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank G. C. Williams for conversations on mate choice, and L. M. Dill, P. Nonacs, W. J. Rowland, R. C. Ydenberg and two anonymous reviewers for criticizing the manuscript. R.C.S. was supported by a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship (National Science Foundation, U.S.A.), M.R.G. by an NSERC of Canada University Research Fellowship, and E.P.V. by a contract with the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The salmon research and manuscript preparation were funded by an NSERC of Canada Operating Grant (U0244) to M.R.G.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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