The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Hale, E.A., J.R. Stauffer, Jr., and M.D. Mahaffy. 1998. Exceptions to color being a sexually dimorphic character in Melanochromis auratus (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 9: 263-266.  

Prominent sexual dimorphism, such as distinct color differences, is a character on which researchers rely when making in situ observations. Distinguishing characters between the sexes are often used in laboratory experiments in order to minimize the handling of fishes. Male and female Melanochromis auratus, a maternal mouth brooding cichlid from Lake Malawi, are colored differently. Male fish are mostly black with a light blue midlateral band, whereas female fish are mostly yellow with a dark midlateral band. Although a random sample of 119 M. auratus from Lake Malawi are consistent with this description, two female M. auratus in the laboratory are black fish with midlateral bands.




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