Biparental mouthbrooding of the catfish Phyllonemus filinemus in Lake Tanganyika
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This article reports biparental mouthbrooding of the bagrid catfish Phyllonemus filinemus in Lake Tanganyika, based on analysis of specimens collected during SCUBA diving. This catfish was nocturnally active, and in the daytime it was concealed singly or in pairs beneath rocks. Within a breeding pair, the male or female alone incubated all the brood in the mouth until the offspring attained 12 mm or so in total length, but thereafter joint mouthbrooding or guarding by both parents took place. Most females of nonbrooding pairs showed high values of gonadosomatic index (GSI), whereas all females of brooding pairs and most single females showed low GSI values. This fact indicated that a pair is formed at a time near the gonadal maturation of the female and separates after the brood is reared. No significant difference in body condition among parents of different reproductive states was observed, which suggested that their condition does not deteriorate markedly as the result of foraging by an off-duty parent.
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