The genotypes of two microsatellite loci were determined for the mouthbrooded progeny of
13 females, representing seven species of both rock- and sand-dwelling Lake Malawi cichlid
fishes. Multiple paternity is clearly demonstrated for all but two broods. One brood
contained the progeny of at least six males. Heterozygosity of these two microsatellite
loci in a sample of 18 male Copadichromis cyclicos was 89% and 83%, respectively.
Each locus displayed 16 alleles among the 18 males. The expected average exclusion
probability using both loci, given a mother/offspring pair, is 0.968, suggesting that
microsatellite variation will be useful for quantifying mate choice in these taxa. The
low heterozygosity of a Melanochromis auratus brood is consistent with reduced
levels of mtDNA polymorphism previously documented in this species. Thus microsatellite
variation may provide insight into the genetic history of these populations.