How do hormones control parental care in fish?

Frontal shield
Frontal shields are status signals in the purple swamphen
April 19, 2015

How do hormones control parental care in fish?

Research Highlight 4

Like many fish, male smallmouth bass provide sole parental care to their offspring. We studied the hormonal basis of parental care in smallmouth fathers by manipulating hormone levels in wild fish. Our study shows that male smallmouth require androgen hormones to provide good parental care; when we blocked androgen production fish were less effective at protecting their nest from predators. Additionally, we showed that male smallmouth can temporarily resist stress while they are providing parental care.

Dey CJ, O’Connor CM, Gilmour KM, Van Der Kraak G & Cooke SJ. 2010.  Behavioral and physiological responses of a wild teleost fish to cortisol and androgen manipulations during parental care. Hormones and Behavior. 58: 599-605