Reproductive Biology

Although it is not known whether this species has internal ga-metic association, the female mates and then deposits egg clusters in spaces between barnacles or mussels. The eggs are either emerald green, dark green, or maroon. Maroon eggs are laid on shores exposed to wave action, but the same females, removed from exposed shores, in captivity lay green eggs the next season. On small stretches of shore that either gradate or abruptly shift from wave exposure to protection from waves, the proportion of maroon to emerald eggs similarly gradates or shifts abruptly. The egg pigment may reflect some physiological response of the female to the gas saturation of the seawater, but the subject remains a mystery, as does the polymorphism for egg color in many other sculpin species.

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