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Levels of inbreeding are highly variable in natural populations. Inbreeding can be due to random factors (like population size), limited dispersal, or active mate choice for relatives. Because of inbreeding depression, mating with kin is often avoided, although sometimes intermediately related individuals are preferred (optimal outbreeding). However, theory(More)
Four choice experiments were conducted with both sexes of the cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus using computer-manipulated stimuli of digital images differing in movement, body shape or colouration. The results show that computer animations can be useful and flexible tools in studying preferences of a cichlid with complex and variable preferences for(More)
Many parasites with complex life cycles increase the chances of reaching a final host by adapting strategies to manipulate their intermediate host's appearance, condition or behaviour. The acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis uses freshwater amphipods as intermediate hosts before reaching sexual maturity in predatory fish. We performed a series of(More)
In wild animal populations, the degree of inbreeding differs between species and within species between populations. Because mating with kin often results in inbreeding depression, observed inbreeding is usually regarded to be caused by limited outbreeding opportunities due to demographic factors like small population size or population substructuring.(More)
The main function of the spermatozoon is the transfer of the male haploid genome during fertilisation. In animals in general and in fishes in particular, there is huge variation in sperm size. In fishes, sperm size ranges from 13 microm in Mugil cephlus to nearly 100 microm in the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus. We examined intra-specific variation in(More)
BACKGROUND Assortative mating patterns for mate quality traits like body size are often observed in nature. However, the underlying mechanisms that cause assortative mating patterns are less well known. Sexual selection is one important explanation for assortment, suggesting that i) one (usually the female) or both sexes could show preferences for mates of(More)
Group living has evolved as an adaptation to predation in many animal species. In a multitude of vertebrates, the tendency to aggregate varies with the risk of predation, but experimental evidence for this is less well known in invertebrates. Here, we examine the tendency to aggregate in the freshwater amphipod Gammarus pulex in the absence and presence of(More)
Animal self-cognizance might be of importance in different contexts like territoriality, self-referent mate-choice or kin recognition. We investigated whether the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus is able to recognize own olfactory cues. P. taeniatus is a cave breeding fish with pronounced brood care and social behavior. In the experiments we gave male(More)
The karyotypes of three recently described species of Chromaphyosemion, namely C. lugens, C. alpha and C. kouamense, were analysed using conventional Giemsa staining, C-banding and sequential banding (fluorescence banding with 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and Chromomycin A(3) (CMA(3)), C-banding, AgNO(3)-staining). Diploid chromosome numbers ranged(More)
BACKGROUND Studies addressing the adaptive significance of female ornamentation have gained ground recently. However, the expression of female ornaments in relation to body size, known as trait allometry, still remains unexplored. Here, we investigated the allometry of a conspicuous female ornament in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a biparental cichlid that(More)