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The relationship between female body size and egg size in pipefishes

Journal article
Authors Ines Goncalves
Ingrid Ahnesjö
Charlotta Kvarnemo
Published in Journal of Fish Biology
Volume 78
Issue 6
Pages 1847-1854
ISSN 0022-1112
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology
Pages 1847-1854
Language en
Keywords brood pouch; mate quality; mating systems; offspring competition; Syngnathidae
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Ecology, Marine ecology, Ethology and behavioural ecology


Comparing five species of pipefish, egg size was significantly larger in species with brood pouches (Syngnathus typhle, Syngnathus acus and Syngnathus rostellatus) than in species without brood pouches (Entelurus aequoreus and Nerophis ophidion). Egg size correlated positively with female body size in species with brood pouches, but was similar across female sizes in the species lacking pouches. These results may reflect differences in offspring competition as a consequence of variable offspring relatedness within a brood, due to the mating systems adopted by the different species and the presence or absence of a brood pouch.

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