Variation pattern of sperm quality traits in two gobies with alternative mating tactics

  title={Variation pattern of sperm quality traits in two gobies with alternative mating tactics},
  author={Lisa Locatello and Andrea Pilastro and Renzo Deana and Alessandro Zarpellon and Maria B. Rasotto},
  journal={Functional Ecology},
Summary 1Theoretical models predict that ejaculate expenditure will positively covary with the level of sperm competition but trade-offs between either different measures of sperm quality or sperm quality traits and sperm number are expected. However, empirical results have generally failed to find trade-offs between sperm number, size, velocity and longevity or viability. 2We analyzed the sperm traits of the grass goby, Zosterisessor ophiocephalus, and the black goby, Gobius niger, two fish… 

Ejaculate traits in relation to male body size in the eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki

No correlation between male body size and either sperm or sperm-bundle traits has been found, evidencing the lack of the theoretically expected trade-off between the investment in characters involved in mate acquisition and the investmentIn ejaculate quality.

Sperm competition and the evolution of alternative reproductive tactics in the swordtail Xiphophorus nigrensis (Poeciliidae)

This study suggests that the evolution of sperm quantity and quality can be decoupled and that sperm morphology is likely to play an important role in mediating sperm competition through its effects on sperm performance.

Evolution of sperm quality but not quantity in the internally fertilized fish Xiphophorus nigrensis

It is suggested that the evolution of sperm quantity and quality can be decoupled and that the sperm morphology is likely to play an important role in mediating sperm competition through its effects on sperm performance.

Alternative male morphs solve sperm performance/longevity trade-off in opposite directions

It is argued that the relative success of alternative sperm performance strategies can be influenced strongly by environmental factors such as the time window between gamete release and fertilization, and the position ofgamete release, which is an important yet little understood aspect of gametic adaptations to sperm competition.

Variability in sperm form and function in the context of sperm competition risk in two Tupinambis lizards

Sperm velocity was found to be positively correlated with flagellum: midpiece ratio, with relatively longer flagella associated with faster sperm, and high variability in sperm form and function in lizards.

Sperm morphology, motility and fertilisation capacity in the myobatrachid frog Crinia georgiana.

There was a negative relationship between sperm viability and male body size, which could be a function of age or an alternative tactic of differential investment in spermatozoa by smaller-sized males using sneak tactics in multiple matings.

Molecular, behavioural and morphological comparisons of sperm adaptations in a fish with alternative reproductive tactics

Findings are confirmed that increased sperm performance as an adaptation to sperm competition is not a primary target of evolution, and gene expression of testes and sperm morphometrics between the two male morphs are not differentially expressed.

Sperm design and variation in the New World blackbirds (Icteridae)

Given the diversity of, and strong selection on, sperm design, it seems likely that sperm phenotype may influence sperm velocity within species, but in contrast to other recent studies of passerine birds, but consistent with several other studies, it is found no significant link between sperm design and velocity.

Reproductive investment patterns, sperm characteristics, and seminal plasma physiology in alternative reproductive tactics of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

It is found that jacks invest significantly more of their somatic tissue into gonads compared with hooknoses, and sperm velocity varied significantly between the ARTs, with jacks having significantly faster sperm thanhooknoses.



Male dimorphism, sperm traits and immunology in the corkwing wrasse (Symphodus melops L.)

It was found that males exhibiting female mimicry had both absolutely and relatively larger gonads than males with typical secondary sexual characters (favoured role), and differences in immunocompetence are unlikely to provide a major proximate explanation for variations in sperm traits in corkwing wrasse.

Colourful male guppies produce faster and more viable sperm

It is found that males with relatively large areas of orange pigmentation had significantly faster and more viable sperm than their less ornamented counterparts, suggesting a possible link between dietary carotenoid intake and sperm quality.

Territorial male gobies respond aggressively to sneakers but do not adjust their sperm expenditure

T territorial males of two goby species adjusted their effort in nest guarding to the presence of rival sneakers by increasing the time spent patrolling the territory and attacking the sneakers, in agreement with those reported for other fish with alternative mating tactics.

Rapid adjustments of sperm characteristics in relation to social status

It is reported that males, in a species with status-dependent shifts in reproductive tactics, have evolved rapid tactic specific adjustments of sperm production and sperm velocity corresponding to what could be predicted from their reproductive roles.

Sperm quality in the alternative reproductive tactics of Atlantic salmon: the importance of the loaded raffle mechanism

  • T. Vladić
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
The results establish that, in sperm competition with dominant males, parr males may compensate for behavioural subordinance by producing physiologically superior spermatozoa.

Mating system and alternative male mating tactics in the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus (Teleostei: Gobiidae)

The ejaculate characteristics indicate that grass goby males have functionally polymorphic spawns: in fact sperm trails of larger males last longer and release fewer sperm than those of smaller males.

Sperm Competition in Fishes: The Evolution of Testis Size and Ejaculate Characteristics

It is found that both the gonadosomatic index and sperm numbers increase with intensity of sperm competition across species but that sperm length decreases, which does not fit predictions of current sperm competition theory.

Sperm in competition: not playing by the numbers.

  • R. Snook
  • Biology
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 2005

Allocation to Mate Guarding or Increased Sperm Production in a Mediterranean Wrasse

This model predicts that nesting males allocating to mate guarding rather than sperm production increased with increased risk of sperm competition in nesting males, and it is argued that this can be explained by nesting malesAllocation among behaviors that affect sperm competition enhances the ability to explain and to predict sperm allocation patterns.


Overall differences between males support the presence of differences in the intensity of sperm competition, with larger males performing nesting behaviour while smaller ones sneak spawnings.