Influence of brood size and offspring size on parental investment in a biparental cichlid fish,Neolamprologus moorii
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- Karino, K. J Ethol (1997) 15: 39. doi:10.1007/BF02767324
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Both males and females ofNeolamprologus moorii, a substrate-spawning cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika, tend their eggs and fry. In this study, the influence of brood size and fry size on parental investment of this species was examined under natural conditions. Breeding parents intensively attacked fry-eating fishes that approached their broods. The attack rate by the parents against the approaching fry-eaters was positively correlated with brood size and negatively with fry size, but was much more strongly related to brood size. This suggests that the parental decision for brood defense appeared to be primarily determined by brood size. The reason for fry size being less important in the parental decision may be that even large fry have a low survival ability on their own under the high predation pressure in the study sites.