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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225On-line version ISSN 1982-0224


CACHO, Maria do Socorro R. F.; CHELLAPPA, Sathyabama  and  YAMAMOTO, Maria Emília. Reproductive success and female preference in the amazonian cichlid angel fish, Pterophyllum scalare (Lichtenstein, 1823). Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2006, vol.4, n.1, pp.87-91. ISSN 1679-6225.

The angel fish, Pterophyllum scalare is a cichlid native to the Amazon Basin of Brazil and is exported as an ornamental fish. In this study the importance of the experience and previous reproductive success of males in mate selection was investigated. In order to investigate reproductive experience, six pairs of males (experienced and inexperienced) and six females were used. Males were placed in an aquarium, where one female was released. Mate selection was verified by the time spent by a female near one of the males. To evaluate reproductive success, six pairs of males were tested, each pair consisting of a successful male and an unsuccessful one. Again, time spent with one of the males was considered as an indication of preference by the female. Each female was then paired with an unsuccessful male and their reproductive success was assessed. Females preferred larger, aggressive, territorial and experienced males. Correlations between male aggressiveness, aeration and egg survival were significant. During larval care, male aggressiveness was significantly related to larvae survival. Furthermore, intrabucal care and larval survival showed significant correlations with care provided by the experienced, mated and isolated fish. Survival of offspring resulted from mating with experienced and inexperienced males showed significant differences. Correlations between time spent by females with successful males during reproduction and survival rate of eggs and larvae were significant. Females assess the capacity and willingness of males in investing efforts to raise the offspring through their courtship behavior. Experienced and successful males are preferred by females and thereby achieve greater reproductive success.

Keywords : reproductive behavior; courtship; mate selection.

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