Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 100, Issue 6, pp 655–662 | Cite as

Evidence for male alternative reproductive tactics in convict cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) in Lake Xiloá, Nicaragua

  • Ethan D. Clotfelter
  • Elizabeth M. Johnson
  • Caleb Anderson
  • Ryan L. Earley


We present evidence suggesting that some male convict cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) in Lake Xiloá, Nicaragua engage in alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs). These putative ART males were smaller than typical parental males, displayed coloration similar to breeding females, and possessed enlarged gonads. Gonadosomatic indices in these males were 16-fold higher than parental males and three-fold higher than females. This phenotype is consistent with the ‘sneaker’ or ‘satellite’ phenotype reported in other species. A survey of 282 fish in 2014 found three males (1% of all fish, 2% of males) with these characteristics. This finding is significant because convict cichlids are frequently studied in laboratory and field in the context of monogamy and biparental care.


Sneaker Satellite Gonadosomatic index Sperm Coloration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ethan D. Clotfelter
    • 1
  • Elizabeth M. Johnson
    • 2
  • Caleb Anderson
    • 2
  • Ryan L. Earley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyAmherst CollegeAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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