Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 43-50

First online:

Active browsing by mouthbrooding females of Tropheus duboisi and Tropheus moorii (Cichlidae) to feed the young and/or themselves

  • Yasunobu YanagisawaAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Ehime University
  • , Tetsu SatoAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Kyoto University

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Fishes usually do not eat while brooding offspring in their mouths. In two epilithic algal eaters Tropheus duboisi and T. moorii in Lake Tanganyika, however, mouthbrooding females exhibited feeding actions. In T. duboisi, the feeding rate of mouthbrooding females was 80 percent of that of males and non brooding females irrespective of the developmental state of their offspring. In T. moori, females brooding early embryos rarely fed but their feeding rate increased with development of offspring. An examination of specimens revealed that such females took food for nourishment of themselves and the young in the former species but for nourishment of only the young in the latter.

Key words

Buccal feeding of young Algal eater Parental care Reproductive effort Reproductive cycle Lake Tanganyika