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Field Observations of Parental Behavior of the Texas Cichlid Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum

M. Itzkowitz and J. Nyby
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 108, No. 2 (Oct., 1982), pp. 364-368
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2425497
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425497
Page Count: 5
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Field Observations of Parental Behavior of the Texas Cichlid Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum
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Abstract

Observations were made in the San Antonio and San Marcos rivers of central Texas on mated pairs of Texas Cichlids (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) both before and following fertilization. Monogamy was the only mating system observed with pair formation occurring prior to territory establishment. Following fertilization the parental behaviors of both members of the mated pair were observed through all three stages of offspring development (eggs, wrigglers and fry). During the egg stage the male and female alternated in the performance of major parental responsibilities. Although male and female parental behaviors were qualitatively similar, quantitative sex differences were evident. The male spent more time patrolling the territory and the female spent more time in close proximity to and attending to the offspring. These quantitative differences, as well as the alternation of behaviors, diminished in the wriggler stage and largely disappeared by the fry stage. Somewhat paradoxically, at all stages of offspring development the female chased conspecific intruders more often and with faster chases.

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