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The effect of silt on the parental behaviour of the sea stickleback, Spinachia spinachia

  • G. W. Potts (a1), M. H. A. Keenleyside (a1) and J. M. Edwards (a2)


The sea stickleback, Spinachia spinachia, lives in shallow coastal and estuarine waters where the male builds a nest and undergoes a protracted period of parental care. The accumulation of silt in the nest has been suggested as one of the environmental factors that regulate nest-directed activities during the parental phase. Experiments have quantified the behaviour of the male fish before and after the application of silt to the nest and shown that some behaviours are affected. The fanning activity, attendance at the nest and other nest-directed activities were examined and it was found that nest inspection and nest pushing increased significantly following the application of silt. Fanning activity, a major part of the parental behaviour of the sticklebacks, was unaffected by the experimental treatment and seems to be unresponsive to environmental changes. The results are discussed in relation to the functional significance of parental behaviour, and compared with a closely related species.



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The effect of silt on the parental behaviour of the sea stickleback, Spinachia spinachia

  • G. W. Potts (a1), M. H. A. Keenleyside (a1) and J. M. Edwards (a2)


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