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Reproductive behavior and parental roles of the cichlid fish Laetacara araguaiae

Author(s): Fabrício Barreto Teresa | Eliane Gonçalves-de Freitas

Journal: Neotropical Ichthyology
ISSN 1679-6225

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 355;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Bi-parental care | Cichlidae | Courtship | Division of labor | Ethogram | Nest building

We described the reproductive behavior of the small South American cichlid Laetacara araguaiae in streams from Brazil. We predicted that this species will show reproductive cooperation and division of labor between males and females in a similar way presented by other substrate-spawner cichlids. Thus, we studied 34 pairs in the pre-spawning (n = 11), egg/wriggler (n = 11) and fry (n = 12) phases. In the pre-spawning phase both sexes become involved in nest building and territorial defense, but females emphasizes building nest (p = 0.03), while males invest more time in territorial defense (p = 0.04). After spawning, male and female alternate between rearing eggs and defending nest in the territory. In the egg/wriggler phase females devotes more time rearing the brood while males remain defending territory (p = 0.02). These differences disappear when young are in the fry stage, and parents jointly stay closer to fry (p = 0.98). However, at this phase, there is a reduction in the frequency of threats shown by males (p

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