Behaviour of males before or during spawning.

Mating games can be observed in fish during spawning, which differ from the mating rituals of animals.

During the spawning season, the carp start circling in a circle made up of two rotating shoals of fish, an outer shoal and an inner shoal. The males can be distinguished by the peculiar movement of their fins.

The original mating dance of the three-eared stickleback. The male searches for a suitable spot for the mating ritual. From this area he chases away all his rivals. To do this, he assumes an upright position, raises his tail and begins to perform rhythmic body movements, perhaps biting the sand with his mouth and showing his rival two abdominal needles as if to demonstrate his readiness to attack. Once the target is reached, he begins to build a nest. When construction is complete, the male changes colour and performs a dance in front of a flock of females, zigzagging with his body. After choosing a female, he dances away from her and then back again. His mouth is wide open. In this ingenious way, he frightens away other females, but the one he has chosen is unaffected by this gesture. She accepts his advances by tilting her body slightly downwards. This gesture indicates that the female is ready to spawn. The male immediately invites her into the nest by swimming ahead and showing her the entrance. Once the female has laid her eggs in the nest, the mating games are over. The male takes care of the eggs and rears the future offspring.

Mating dances can vary from species to species. The male may simply circle around the female, flick his tail in the water, make original body movements, lie down on the bottom, etc. All his actions are aimed at pleasing the female and inviting her to spawn in her nest.

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Mating games

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