Monogamy in the maternally mouthbrooding Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish Tropheus moorii. Proc R Soc Lond B

Department of Zoology, University of Graz, Austria.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 5.05). 08/2006; 273(1595):1797-802. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3504
Source: PubMed


Supported by evidence for assortative mating and polygynandry, sexual selection through mate choice was suggested as the main force driving the evolution of colour diversity of haplochromine cichlids in Lakes Malawi and Victoria. The phylogenetically closely related tribe Tropheini of Lake Tanganyika includes the genus Tropheus, which comprises over 100 colour variants currently classified into six morphologically similar, polyphyletic species. To assess the potential for sexual selection in this sexually monochromatic maternal mouthbrooder, we used microsatellite-based paternity inference to investigate the mating system of Tropheus moorii. In contrast to haplochromines in Lake Malawi, multiple paternity is rare or even absent in broods of T. moorii. Eighteen of the 19 analysed families were consistent with genetic monogamy, while either a mutation or more than one sire explained the genotype of one offspring in another brood. We discuss the differences in breeding behaviour between T. moorii and the Lake Malawi haplochromines, and evaluate additional factors or alternatives to sexual selection as promoters of colour diversification. A preliminary survey of other Tropheini species suggested that multiple paternity is infrequent in the entire tribe.

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Available from: Kristina M Sefc,
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    • "Sneaking and other types of reproductive parasitism were never detected in nature, where Tropheus also occur at the high densities conducive to these behaviors. For instance, wildcaught Tropheus broods were found to be sired by a single male each (Egger et al. 2006). Therefore, we consider it unlikely that alternative tactics of pond males compromised our inferences on mate choice and assume that maternal half sibs arose from independent breeding events. "
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    ABSTRACT: Assortative mating promotes reproductive isolation and allows allopatric specia-tion processes to continue in secondary contact. As mating patterns are determined by mate preferences and intrasexual competition, we investigated male–male competition and behavioral isolation in simulated secondary contact among allopatric populations. Three allopatric color morphs of the cichlid fish Tropheus were tested against each other. Dyadic male–male contests revealed dominance of red males over bluish and yellow-blotch males. Reproductive isolation in the presence of male–male competition was assessed from genetic parent-age in experimental ponds and was highly asymmetric among pairs of color morphs. Red females mated only with red males, whereas the other females performed variable degrees of heteromorphic mating. Discrepancies between mating patterns in ponds and female preferences in a competition-free, two-way choice paradigm suggested that the dominance of red males interfered with positive assortative mating of females of the subordinate morphs and provoked asymmet-ric hybridization. Between the nonred morphs, a significant excess of negative assortative mating by yellow-blotch females with bluish males did not coincide with asymmetric dominance among males. Hence, both negative assortative mating preferences and interference of male–male competition with positive assorta-tive preferences forestall premating isolation, the latter especially in environments unsupportive of competition-driven spatial segregation.
    Ecology and Evolution 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/ece3.1372 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    • "MTV-polygamy, male-territory-visitting polygamy; NT-polygyny, nonterritorial polygyny. 1: Kuwamura, 1997; 2: Schaedelin & Taborsky, 2006; 3: Immler & Taborsky, 2009; 4: Haesler et al., 2009; 5: Haesler et al., 2011; 6: Sefc et al., 2009; 7: Egger et al., 2006; 8: Sefc et al., 2012; 9: Sefc et al., 2009; 10: Ochi, 1996. At phylogenetic analyses, '+' set as '1', 'À' set as '0'. "
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the evolutionary relationship between spawning behaviour and sperm motility traits among Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlid species that have developed diverse mating behaviours and male sexual traits. Mouth-brooding behaviour is common among these fish, but different species demonstrate a range of spawning behaviours, bower construction, male sexual traits and timing of gamete release. We observed spawning behaviours and compared sperm motility traits of 28 Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlids to elucidate the evolutionary correlations between these traits. Sperm longevity was considerably longer in bower-building species that construct crater-shaped spawning sites compared with species that do not build bowers. Male bower builders released sperm in the pit of the bower prior to spawning, and the time from ejaculation to fertilization was longer. Conversely, most mouth-brooding cichlids deposited semen directly into the female buccal cavity, and spawned eggs were immediately picked up to be placed inside the cavity; thus, the time from ejaculation to fertilization was short. These observations suggest that increased sperm longevity is favoured in bower builders. Comparative phylogenetic analyses suggested that bower-building behaviour and greater time from ejaculation to fertilization are associated with the extension of sperm longevity, whereas sperm competition rank does not play a major role. In addition, bower-building behaviour preceded the emergence of increased sperm longevity. These results indicate that the extension of sperm longevity as a result of the emergence of bower builders may have acted as an evolutionary attractor for sperm longevity.
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 10/2014; 27(12). DOI:10.1111/jeb.12522 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "After spawning, the female abandons the male for solitary mouthbrooding (Yanagisawa & Nishida, 1991). Single paternity of broods (Egger et al., 2006) suggests that unpaired males do not partake in reproduction. In a population in northern Lake Tanganyika (Tropheus sp. "
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    ABSTRACT: Female mate preferences for male traits and resource characteristics affect trait evolution and diversification. Here, we test the effects of male body traits and territory characteristics on within-population female preferences and on population–assortative mating in the cichlid Tropheus moorii. Within-population preferences of females were independent of male body size, coloration and territory size but were strongly dependent on territory quality and co-varied with male courtship activity. Courtship activity of individual males was contingent on the quality of their assigned territory, and therefore, courtship may not only indicate intrinsic male quality. On the basis of these results we suggest that female preferences for high-quality territories reinforce the outcome of male–male competition and ensure male mating success. Mating preferences of females for males of their own color variant (ascertained in a previous experiment) were not overturned when males of another color variant were presented in a superior territory, indicating that within- and between-population mate preferences of females depend on different cues.
    Hydrobiologia 04/2014; 748(1). DOI:10.1007/s10750-014-1892-7 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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