Reproductive Biology

Males become more brightly colored during breeding season, which occurs in the spring. Females wait in slower waters of a stream, half-buried in the substrate, while males enter stream riffles. As a female approaches the spawning site, a male swims up, following her closely and defending her from any other interested males. He continues to maintain this "moving territory" until mating occurs. During mating, males align themselves next to the female and spawn while both vibrate. Females typically lay three to seven eggs at a time, but spawn multiple times, sometimes laying up to 1,000 eggs per season. Females typically bury their eggs, which hatch in 10-12 days. They reach sexual maturity at one year.

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