Carotenoid-based coloration is associated with predation risk, competition, and breeding status in female convict cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) under field conditions
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- Anderson, C., Wong, S.C., Fuller, A. et al. Environ Biol Fish (2015) 98: 1005. doi:10.1007/s10641-014-0333-9
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The signaling function of carotenoid-based orange ventral coloration expressed by female convict cichlids (A. siquia) is still largely unknown. This field study examined the relationship between breeding female A. siquia orange coloration and predation stress, territorial competition, and offspring developmental stage. Female orange coloration decreased significantly with increased behavioral interactions with predators and heterospecific competitors, and the presence of wrigglers, fry, or juveniles was significantly associated with a lack of orange coloration. Multiple alternative explanations for these observations are discussed, including body carotenoid re-allocation and variation in environmental characteristics.