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Bohlen, J.

First report on the spawning behaviour of a golden spined loach, Sabanejewia vallachica (Teleostei: Cobitidae)

Folia Zoologica 57: 139-146

Very little is known about the spawning behaviour of loach fishes, despite the fact that reproduction is one of the most important aspects in the autecology of animals. Here the spawning behaviour of golden spined loaches of the genus Sabanejewia is described for the first time. In opposite to spined loaches of the genera Cobitis and Misgurnus, the spawning partners together do some ‘circle swimming’ prior to spawning and the male does not form a full ring around the female but catches the female with a ‘V’-shaped body. This spawning behaviour explains why males of Sabanejewia in opposite to nearly all other genera of Cobitidae 1) are not significantly smaller than the females, a condition that is required only to form a complete ring around the female and 2) have swellings in the middle of the body instead of specialised rays of the pectoral fins like in most other genera. These swellings are in the part of body that touches the female during release of gametes, while the pectoral fins do not reach to the female’s body.