The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Kellogg, K.A., J.A. Markert, J.R. Stauffer, Jr., and T.D. Kocher. 1998. Intraspecific brood mixing and reduced polyandry in a maternal mouth-brooding cichlid. Behavioral Ecology 9 (3): 309-312.  

Microsatellite loci were used to evaluate the level of polyandry and intraspecific brood mixing in Protomelas c.f. [sic] spilopterus, a paedophagous, maternal mouth-brooding cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. We found that broods were fertilized by one to three males, which was a reduced level of multiple paternity compared to other mouth-brooding cichlids. Low density of breeding males and the risk of intraspecific predation are likely explanations for reduced polyandry. Intraspecific brood-mixing was found in four out of the six broods examined, with the proportions of foreign fry ranging from 6% to 65%. The potential origins of brood mixing are discussed, although no firm conclusions can be drawn given the limited behavioral observations for this species.




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