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The Effect of Female Color, Size, Dominance and Early Experience Upon Mate Selection in Male Convict Cichlids, Cichlasoma Nigrofasciat Um Günther (Pisces, Cichlidae)

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This study investigates the role of female color, size, and dominance, and the influence of early color experience in mate selection by male Convict cichlids, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum. Dark wild-type male fish were reared by dark parents in dark schools (dark homogenous group), and by mixed dark and white parents in mixed schools (dark mixed group), until sexual maturity. Correspondingly a white homogenous group and a white mixed group were also established. Each male was then allowed to choose a mate among two dark (mixed group) and two white (mixed group) females. Males tended to spawn more often with dark females and always spawned with dominant females. Female size is positively correlated with female dominance and this may be either as a cause or as an effect of female dominance. Early color experience appears to be unimportant in male mate selection.

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Biology, State University of New York, College at Oswego, N.Y. and Syracuse University Syracuse, N.Y., USA


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