Love calls from the bottom
Some men send flowers, others send chocolates. But one species of fish has a rather unusual method of seducing the opposite sex. Researchers at the Centre of Marine Science, University of Algarve, Portugal, have been studying how the peacock blenny fish secretes pheromones – chemical ‘love’ signals – from an anal gland.
Dr Barata will present the results of his study at the Society for Experimental Biology conference on Thursday 11 April. By performing attraction and choice tests in aquaria using water from males with or without AG, or water spiked or devoid of extracted AG, Dr Barata was able to show that female fish spent significantly more time with male fish with the anal gland, or with those in water ‘smelling’ of the anal pheromone. The lucky AG males also received more eggs in their nests. Dr Barata concludes that the anal gland plays a significant role in male reproductive success.
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