IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Multiply mated males show higher embryo survival in a paternally caring fish


  • Gry Sagebakken
  • Ingrid Ahnesjö
  • Ines Braga Goncalves
  • Charlotta Kvarnemo


We explored the effects of multiple mates on male reproductive success in a species with male parental care in which an increase in the number of female mating partners does not increase the number of eggs received. The broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) has a polygynandrous mating system. In this species, the male cares for embryos in a specially developed brood pouch. During brooding, some embryos fail to develop. We experimentally mated males with either one or two females while keeping brood size similar. We found that broods of singly mated males showed significantly lower embryo survival than those of doubly mated males. Furthermore, larger broods showed relatively lower levels of embryo survivorship independent of number of mates. We conclude that embryo survival is affected by postcopulatory processes that appear to result in higher fitness of multiply mated males. We discuss our results in the light of parental care, sibling competition, genetic benefits, and kin selection. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gry Sagebakken & Ingrid Ahnesjö & Ines Braga Goncalves & Charlotta Kvarnemo, 2011. "Multiply mated males show higher embryo survival in a paternally caring fish," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22(3), pages 625-629.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:625-629

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:625-629. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.