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Sons and Lovers : the Functional Significance of Sexual Dichromism in a Fish, Neoheterandria Tridentiger (Garman)

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image of Behaviour

Male Neoheterandria tridentiger typically display a conspicuous, black mid-lateral spot under two conditions: as losers in fights, and when attempting to copulate with females. Mature females display this mid-lateral spot only as loscrs in fights. Juveniles display the spot continuously. Experimental and observational evidence suggests the mid-lateral spot inhibits agonistic behaviour in Neoheterandria. The spot apparently evolved as a juvenile species recognition mark and subsequently became an adult appeasement display.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology and Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, U.B.C., Vancouver, Canada


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