Many cichlid species independently evolved mouthbreeding [sic] as a highly specialised brood
care behavior. Egg dummies, resembling the ova of the corresponding species, formed of
various parts of the body can be found in different lineages of mouthbreeding cichlids.
Most abundant are eggspots, which are conspicuously yellow spots developed on the anal
fin of males. Eggspots were believed to have evolved to deceive the females during spawning,
thus maximising the fertilisation rates of the males, but empirical studies showed that the
presence of eggspots has no effect on fertilisation rates. However, eggspots seem to play
a role during mate choice of females. Here, the role of sexual selection in the evolution
of eggspots is reviewed and eggspots are hypothesised to have evolved through sensory
exploitation. The sensory exploitation hypothesis can explain the shortcomings of
previously suggested hypotheses on the evolutionary origin of eggspots.