Do microsporidian parasites affect courtship in two-spotted gobies?

Christophe Pélabon*, Åsa A. Borg, Jens Bjelvenmark, Iain Barber, Elisabet Forsgren, Trond Amundsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


Courtship and body condition of male two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens) harbouring naturally acquired microsporidian infections were compared with those of microsporidian-free males under standardized conditions in the lab. Although parasite infection had no apparent effect on individual condition, it significantly affected male courtship intensity. This effect, however, was affected by the intensity of the female courtship. Our study is one of the first to demonstrate a sub-lethal behavioural effect of a microsporidian parasite that could negatively affect the reproductive success of infected individuals. Our results also suggest that secondary sexual traits like courtship may be more sensitive to moderately detrimental effects of parasite infection than classical condition indices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number1
Early online date13 Aug 2005
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2005


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