Ichthyological Research

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 283–285 | Cite as

Behavioral response to familiar and unfamiliar neighbors in a territorial cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher

  • Polly Frostman
  • Peter T. Sherman


Some territorial species have been shown to react more aggressively toward unfamiliar conspecifics than established neighbors, a behavior referred to as the “dear enemy” phenomenon. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine whether males of a territorial African cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, can discriminate between size-matched familiar and unfamiliar male neighbors and whether they respond more aggressively toward unfamiliar males. It was found that males spent significantly more time near the territorial boundary that they shared with unfamiliar neighbors and directed significantly more aggressive behavior toward these individuals.

Key words

Dear enemy Individual recognition Neolamprologus pulcher Territory defense Agonistic behavior 


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyTransylvania UniversityLexingtonUSA

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