oa African Zoology - Parental behaviour and mixed broods among cichlid fish of Lake Malawi

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The number of species of cichlid found to host foreign offspring in mixed broods in Lake Malawi is much greater than originally supposed. It is suggested that all species which show well developed parental behaviour may have foreign fry mix with their broods on occasion. A variety of species of fry were found in mixed broods. These come from two categories of fish: those which apparently do not guard their free swimming fry; and those which have a well entrenched phase of protective care. Although substrate spawners may encourage other fry to join their broods it is argued that foreign young are unwelcome guests of mouth brooders.

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