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Partner Attack Inhibition in the Convict Cichlid, Cichlasoma (Archocentrus) Nigrofasciatum

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The paper investigates the occurrence of submission in relation to the courtship of the biparental sexually dimorphic convict cichlid, Cichlasoma (Archocentrus) nigrofasciatum. It was found that submission by females was not necessary for courtship to proceed and such behaviour was found only in a similar context to fleeing behaviour. The presence of an intruding male, while generally invoking courtship activities, did not reduce the aggressiveness of a resident female towards other conspecifics. Thus any inhibition of aggression was specific to the potential mate only. Similarly intruding males did not attack aggressive resident females, even though no symbolic inferiority was performed. It is suggested that inhibition of aggression towards the partner can occur in the absence of symbolic inferiority and proposed that a new terminology be adopted. Particular activities involved should be named according to postural elements, and the functional category referred to as Partner Attack Inhibition (PAI).

Affiliations: 1: (School of Animal Biology, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, U.K.


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