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Behavior of the Pupfish, Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis

Anthony A. Echelle
Copeia
Vol. 1973, No. 1 (Mar. 5, 1973), pp. 68-76
DOI: 10.2307/1442359
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1442359
Page Count: 9
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Behavior of the Pupfish, Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis
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Abstract

Behavior in natural conditions is described for the Red River pupfish, Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis. Spawning occurred from February into November at temperatures of 13-34 C, with a shift from primarily afternoon spawning in the winter to primarily morning spawning in warmer months. In March, spawning was observed from sunrise until nightfall on days when permissive temperatures prevailed. Maximum spawning frequencies were observed at midmorning hours in July and August. By late October spawning had decreased to a low level. Relative frequencies of different courtship activities were apparently correlated with differential levels of sexual readiness in the female population. Major functions of breeding territoriality seemed to be egg protection and the provision of space in which resident males could court females with minimal interference from other males. Blackening of the eye was a correlate of increased aggressiveness in females and nonbreeding males. In courting and spawning pairs, differential eye color, black in males, silvery in females, was correlated with apparent differences in aggressive motivation.

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