Field observation on death feigning: a unique hunting behavior by the predatory cichlid, Haplochromis livingstoni, of Lake Malawi

  title={Field observation on death feigning: a unique hunting behavior by the predatory cichlid, Haplochromis livingstoni, of Lake Malawi},
  author={Kenneth R. Mckaye},
  journal={Environmental Biology of Fishes},
  • K. R. Mckaye
  • Published 1 November 1981
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Biology of Fishes
SynopsisHaplochromis (=Cyrtocara) livingstoni, one of the predatory cichlids of the sand community of Lake Malawi, Africa, occurs at a density of 1.3 individuals per hectare. They are territorial, defending areas 15 m wide by 40 m long along the interface of sand andVallisneria weed beds. Individuals use a ‘death feigning’ hunting pattern to capture prey. From a position of lying on their sides semiburied in the sand, these fish attack small cichlids. During four hours of SCUBA observations… 
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