Circulating 11-ketotestosterone (11KT) levels are higher during the courtship phase than during the later parental phase in a number of male teleosts. The present study describes the temporal changes in 11KT levels and their relationships to changes in courtship behavior, after different number of spawnings, over the nesting cycle of the male three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, a small teleost showing pronounced paternal behavior. Plasma 11KT levels, measured by radioimmunoassay, were approximately 34 times higher during the initial courtship phase than at the end of the following parental phase in spawned males. In addition, males that spawned with three or more females on a single day showed an earlier decline in 11KT levels and in courtship behavior compared to males that were only allowed to spawn with a single female. Plasma 11KT levels remained high in males not allowed to spawn.