ABSTRACT

One frequently suggested explanation for the evolution of beach spawning in fishes is that this helps them avoid predation. This is appealing, particularly when considering those species that only spawn under cover of darkness. However, this explanation does not hold up particularly well to scrutiny. Large aggregations of active fishes that occur predictably with the tides in preparation for spawning are also a regularly scheduled temptation for many predators, including fishes, invertebrates, birds, and mammals.