Mating behavior was observed on 8 mouth-brooding Malawian cichlid species in aquarium, and was
discussed from a viewpoint of the spot type on the male anal fin. The mating behavior for the
pair was divided into seven steps; step 1, display; step 2, navigation; step 3, stimulation;
step 4, oviposition; step 5, egg collection; step 6, fertilization; and step 7, mimic
fertilization. Spots on the anal fin were categorized into four types; oval
(Labidochromis caeruleus, Melanochromis auratus and Pseudotropheus zebra),
narrow-oval (Aulonocara hansbaenschi), ellipsoidal (Nimbochromis livingstoni) and
disappeared (Aulonocara jacobfreibergi, Fossorochromis rostratus and
Placidochromis electra). Steps 1 and 3 was [sic] observed for all the species. Step 7 was
observed for all the species except for A. hansbaenschi and F. rostratus.
Steps 4 to 6 were observed only for N. livingstoni and P. electra. On the other
hand, step 2 was observed only for A. hansbaenschi, L. caeruleus and
M. auratus, belonging to oval to narrow-oval spot types, suggesting the role of
oval-type spots in induction of mating behavior of females.