Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sakura

Goldfish Breeding Tubercles

7 posts in this topic

Goldfish Breeding Tubercles

What are they and what are they for?

J. M. Connelly 2012

Breeding tubercles are keratin-based skin nodules found on male goldfish. They most often occur on the leading rays of the pectoral fins and the opercula (gill covers), but they can also be found on all rays of the pectoral fins, on the head and around the eyes, on the leading rays of the pelvic fins, and even on the body of the fish (not to be confused with the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis). When breeding tubercles occur on the body of the fish, they are arranged on the scales in a neat pattern matching the contour of the scales. In contrast, the ich parasite occurs randomly all over the body. Breeding tubercles are induced, in part, by testosterone, and there is great variation in their appearance. There may be just a few tubercles on the pectoral fins, many tubercles all over the fish, or anything in-between.

ganymede.jpg

This red broadtail has many tubercles all over the rays of his pectoral fin, all over his operculum, and all over his face.

loki.jpg

This black butterfly telescope has many tubercles on the leading ray of his pectoral fin and some tubercles on his operculum.

grindle.jpg

This red veiltail telescope has tubercles above his eye, on the leading ray of his pectoral fin, and on his operculum.

moody.jpg

This calico butterfly telescope has tubercles on his operculum and on the leading ray of his pectoral fin.

ichvstubercles.jpg

This image illustrates the difference between breeding tubercles on the body and the ich parasite on the body.

There is no clear consensus as to what the breeding tubercles are used for, but there are many possibilities. They may be used for male/female differentiation, protection against injury, weapons in intense pre-spawning male behavior, as a means to stay close to their mate during spawning, stimulators during spawning, an indicator of male health, or an indicator of male dominance. The actual purpose of breeding tubercles could be some, or all, of the above things.

In a study by Kortet et al, it was found that the breeding tubercles of the Roach (a fish related to the goldfish) serve as a status badge, with more dominant males possessing more tubercles than less dominant males. They also found that the tubercles serve as an indicator of male quality, meaning that males with more tubercles have greater reproductive success and are healthier (have fewer parasites). This means that the breeding tubercles serve as a marker to help the female fish pick mates that are healthier and have a better chance at fertilizing their eggs during a spawn.

Work Cited:

Kortet R., J. Taskinen, A. Vainikka, and H. Ylonen. 2004. Breeding Tubercles, Papillomatosis and Dominance Behavior of Male Roach (Rutilus rutilus) During the Spawning Period. Ethology 110:591-601.

This post has been promoted to an article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Is lovely :) If I was good with my camera and Prince would sit still He has the breeding tubercles on his body. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this and using your beautiful photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just noticed this had been posted! Thanks mods and Koko. :)

This Is lovely :) If I was good with my camera and Prince would sit still He has the breeding tubercles on his body. ;)

That's awesome! I had a fish with breeding stars on his body once too, but they were hard to photograph since he was a mostly white fish. On Rain Garden's website, there are usually one or two fish listed at any given time who have breeding stars on their bodies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a photo of Googles on here somewhere that shows breeding stars on his body. I was pretty worried when I first spotted them! Thank you for sharing this :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×