Mating experience shapes male mating behavior across species, from insects, fish, and birds, to rodents. Here, we investigated the effect of multiple mating experiences on male mating behavior in “naïve” (defined as sexually inexperienced) male medaka fish. The latency to mate with the same female partner significantly decreased after the second encounter, whereas when the partner was changed, the latency to mate was not decreased. These findings suggest that mating experiences enhanced the mating activity of naïve males for the familiar female, but not for an unfamiliar female. In contrast, the mating experiences of “experienced” (defined as those having mated > 7 times) males with the same partner did not influence their latency to mate. Furthermore, we identified 10 highly and differentially expressed genes in the brains of the naïve males after the mating experience and revealed 3 genes that are required for a functional cascade of the thyroid hormone system. Together, these findings suggest that the mating experience of naïve male medaka fish influences their mating behaviors, with neural changes triggered by thyroid hormone activation in the brain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas