Reproductive Biology

The male soft sculpin attracts a harem of several females and courts them in synchrony prior to copulating with each female in sequence. Females simultaneously lay a group, monolayer egg mass on the underside of a rock surface. The females tend the eggs communally, the fanning behavior of one female stimulating similar behavior in adjacent females. The male remains to one side and guards the nest site against other fishes or invertebrates. At hatching, the females suck larvae from the egg shells, swim away from the nest crevice, and spit the larvae toward the surface.

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