acta ethologica

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 81–87 | Cite as

The role of dilution and differential predation in brood adoptions of the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus xiloaensis)

  • Jennifer Barker Fulton
  • Kenneth R. McKaye
  • Robert H. Hilderbrand
Original Article


Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine if the addition of conspecific “foreign” fry affects the survival of “host” fry in the Midas cichlid, Amphilophus xiloaensis. The study consisted of two separate experiments: (1) adoption treatments simulated by adding 75 foreign fry to a host brood containing 150 fry and parents (10 trials where host fry were larger, 10 trials where foreign fry were larger); (2) control treatments in which no foreign fry were added to a host brood containing 150 fry and parents (20 trials). Predation was imposed by introducing three bigmouth sleepers (Gobiomorus dormitor). No significant differences were found between the survival of host, foreign, and control fry after 24 h. Survival was significantly affected by fry size, leading to differential predation on smaller fry. Mean predation rate increased proportionally with brood size, therefore the addition of conspecific foreign fry did not result in dilution of the host brood.


Alloparental care Cichlid fishes Intra-specific brood care Brood adoptions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and ISPA 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Barker Fulton
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. McKaye
    • 1
  • Robert H. Hilderbrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Appalachian LaboratoryUniversity of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceFrostburgUSA

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