The Reproductive Behavior of the Stickleback; April 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Gerard J. FitzGerald; 6 Page(s)
It was a sunny spring afternoon, and I was lying on my stomach peering into one of the myriad tide pools that dot a vast stretch of salt marsh along the southern shore of the Saint Lawrence estuary. Concentrating on my observations, I did not hear the approach of a local resident, who suddenly appeared beside me. Apart from the two of us, there was no one for miles around. In the distinctive Qubec French of the region, he queried, "Qu'est-ce que tu fais la?" I replied, " Je regarde les poissons." The poor man beat a hasty retreat, no doubt wondering what this crazy "Anglais" was doing watching inedible fish by himself in the middle of a mosquito-infested marsh.
The subject of my curiosity was the three-spine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, a small temperate-zone fish about the length of one's middle finger. The name comes from the three sharp dorsal spines that help to protect the fish from its numerous predators.