Hydrobiologia

, Volume 748, Issue 1, pp 233–257 | Cite as

Parental care in the Cuatro Ciénegas cichlid, Herichthys minckleyi (Teleostei: Cichlidae)

  • Ronald G. Oldfield
  • Kapil Mandrekar
  • M. Xavier Nieves
  • Dean A. Hendrickson
  • Prosanta Chakrabarty
  • Brook O. Swanson
  • Hans A. Hofmann
ADVANCES IN CICHLID RESEARCH

Abstract

Behavioral studies have often examined parental care by measuring phenotypic plasticity of behavior within a species. Phylogenetic studies have compared parental care among species, but only at broad categories (e.g., care vs. no care). Here we provide a detailed account that integrates phylogenetic analysis with quantitative behavioral data to better understand parental care behavior in the Cuatro Ciénegas cichlid, Herichthys minckleyi. We found that H. minckleyi occurs in a clade of sexually monochromatic or weakly dichromatic monogamous species, but that male and female H. minckleyi have dramatically different reproductive coloration patterns, likely as a result of sexual selection. Furthermore, we found that males are polygynous; large males guard large territories, and smaller males may attempt alternative mating tactics (sneaking). Finally, compared to the closely related monogamous Rio Grande cichlid, H. cyanoguttatus, males of H. minckleyi were present at their nests less often and performed lower rates of aggressive offspring defense, and females compensated for the absence of their mates by performing higher levels of offspring defense. Body color, mating system, and parental care in H. minckleyi appear to have evolved after it colonized Cuatro Ciénegas, and are likely a result of evolution in an isolated, stable environment.

Keywords

Aggression Cuatro Ciénegas Herichthys Mating systems Polygyny Sexual selection 

Supplementary material

10750_2014_2081_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald G. Oldfield
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kapil Mandrekar
    • 4
  • M. Xavier Nieves
    • 3
  • Dean A. Hendrickson
    • 5
  • Prosanta Chakrabarty
    • 6
  • Brook O. Swanson
    • 7
  • Hans A. Hofmann
    • 8
  1. 1.Texas Research Institute for Environmental StudiesSam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Integrative BiologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and ForestryThe State University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  5. 5.Department of Integrative Biology and Texas Natural History CollectionsThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  6. 6.Ichthyology Section, Museum of Natural Science, Department of Biological SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  7. 7.Biology DepartmentGonzaga UniversitySpokaneUSA
  8. 8.Department of Integrative Biology, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute for NeuroscienceThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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