Journal of Ethology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 67–73 | Cite as

Fighting behaviour in native fish: the Mexican mojarra (Cichlasoma istlanum) wins when confronted with the non-native convict cichlid fish (Amatitlania nigrofasciata)

  • M. Archundia
  • E. ArceEmail author


The convict cichlid fish Amatitlania nigrofasciata, an aggressive fish species, was introduced in 1987 into the Balsas River basin in central Mexico, which is home to the native cichlid Mexican mojarra, Cichlasoma istlanum. Local populations of the Mexican mojarra have been hypothesized to be negatively affected by the introduction of the non-native convict cichlid fish, and the two species have been observed engaging in aggressive behaviours over resources such as food and shelter along this basin. Thus, we evaluated agonistic interactions between the native Mexican mojarra and the non-native convict cichlid fish. In experimental contests between the species, chases, bites, refuge use and defence, and food consumed were recorded and analysed. Contrary to expectation, the Mexican mojarra engaged in a greater number of chases and bites than the convict cichlid fish and was more successful in obtaining the resource under dispute (a refuge and food).


Contest Agonistic behaviour Aggression Interspecific competition Interaction Displacement 



We thank J. Luna-Figueroa, H. Mejía-Mojica, and J. García for helpful comments on the study. Thanks to J. Figueroa, D. Molina, and A. Mares for their technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable guidelines of the Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente were followed. Fish in this experiment did not suffer any injury, and the study did not use endangered or protected species.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maestría en Manejo de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Investigaciones BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMexico
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Acuicultura, Departamento de Hidrobiología, Centro de Investigaciones BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMexico

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