Intraspecific brood mixing and reduced polyandry in a maternal mouth-brooding cichlid

Karen A. Kellogg, Jeffrey A. Markert, Jay R. Stauffer, Thomas D. Kocher

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54 Scopus citations


Microsatellite loci were used to evaluate the level of polyandry and intraspecific brood mixing in Protomelas c.f. spilopterus, a paedophagous, maternal mouth-brooding cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. We found that broods were fertilized by one to three males, which was a reduced level of multiple paternity compared to other mouth-brooding cichlids. Low density of breeding males and the risk of intraspecific predation are likely explanations for reduced polyandry. Intraspecific brood-mixing was found in four out of the six broods examined, with the proportions of foreign fry ranging from 6% to 65%. The potential origins of brood mixing are discussed, although no firm conclusions can be drawn given the limited behavioral observations for this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-312
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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