The effect of male coloration on female mate choice in closely related Lake Victoria cichlids (Haplochromis nyererei complex)

  title={The effect of male coloration on female mate choice in closely related Lake Victoria cichlids (Haplochromis nyererei complex)},
  author={O. Seehausen and Jacques J M van Alphen},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
Abstract We studied the effect of male coloration on interspecific female mate choice in two closely related species of haplochromine cichlids from Lake Victoria. [] Key Method We recorded the behavioral responses of females to males of both species in paired male trials under white light and under monochromatic light, under which the interspecific differences in coloration were masked. Females of both species exhibited species-assortative mate choice when colour differences were visible, but chose non…

Female mating preferences and male coloration covary with water transparency in a Lake Victoria cichlid fish

The observed relationship between male coloration and water transparency is not mediated by environmental variation alone, and female mating preferences are indicated to have changed in response to this variation, constituting the first evidence for intraspecific preference-trait co-evolution in cichlid fish.

Differences in male coloration are predicted by divergent sexual selection between populations of a cichlid fish

Results suggest that differences in male coloration between populations of P. nyererei can be explained by divergent sexual selection and that population-assortative mating may directly result from intrapopulation sexual selection.

Disruptive sexual selection on male nuptial coloration in an experimental hybrid population of cichlid fish

It is demonstrated that non-hybrid females of both species use male nuptial coloration for choosing mates, but with inversed preferences, and shown that variation in female mating preferences in an F2 hybrid population generates a quadratic fitness function for male coloration suggestive of disruptive selection.

Intraspecific sexual selection on a speciation trait, male coloration, in the Lake Victoria cichlid Pundamilia nyererei

It is reported that a male colour trait, which has previously been shown to be important for behavioural reproductive isolation between this species and a close relative, is under directional sexual selection by female mate choice within this species, consistent with the hypothesis that female choice has driven the divergence in male coloration between the two species.

Territory quality affects female preference in a Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Experimental evidence is provided that differences in territory quality can override the female preference for males of her own colour in the Lake Victoria cichlid genus Pundamilia, critical for a recent hypothesis proposing that male competition for mating territories can facilitate the process of sympatric speciation by sexual selection.

Female mate choice and species recognition between two closely related cichlid fish of Lake Malawi, Metriaclima estherae and M. callainos.

The results suggest that species recognition cues may differ even among closely related species of cichlid fish, and that female preferences for male coloration may be weak in certain species.

Female preference for male color is necessary and sufficient for assortative mating in 2 cichlid sister species

It is shown that the visibility of differences in nuptial hue between males of the 2 species is necessary and sufficient for assortative mating by female mate choice, and confirmed the important role of femalemate choice for male nuptIAL hue in promoting the explosive speciation of African haplochromine cichlids.

A test of genetic association among male nuptial coloration, female mating preference, and male aggression bias within a polymorphic population of cichlid fish

There was a positive correlation among individuals between male aggression bias and body coloration, possibly due to pleiotropy or physical linkage, which could facilitate the maintenance of color polymorphism.

Evaluation of Female Mate Choice Cues in a Group of Lake Malawi Mbuna (Cichlidae)

Investigating the cues that guide species-isolating female choice in a group of sympatric Lake Malawi mbuna found that females courted only with conspecifics even if color was not a cue, likely based primarily on visual information.



Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males

It is shown that in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) the intensity of male red breeding coloration positively correlates with physical condition, and the females recognize the formerly parasitized males by the lower intensity of theirbreeding coloration.

Consensus among females in their choice of males in the guppy Poecilia reticulata

The fact that females differ in criteria for evaluating males has important implications for selection and maintenance of color polymorphisms and for the interactions among multiple secondary sexual traits of males in the guppy.

Correlated Evolution of Female Mating Preferences and Male Color Patterns in the Guppy Poecilia reticulata

Male traits and female preferences appear to be evolving in parallel in guppy populations, and in a comparison of seven populations, the degree offemale preference based on orange is correlated with the population average orange area.


  • J. EndlerA. Houde
  • Psychology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1995
Examination of the preferences of female guppies from 11 localities in Trinidad shows that females are on average more attracted to males from their own population than from alien populations, and populations appear to vary in the criteria used in female choice.

Female mate preference enhances offspring growth and reproduction in a fish, Poecilia reticulata

  • J. ReynoldsM. Gross
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1992
It is shown that female guppies were attracted to larger-bodied males, which is consistent with the ‘good genes’ theory of sexual selection but also illustrates some of the pitfalls inherent in distinguishing among alternative theories.

Distribution of and reproductive isolation among color morphs of a rock‐dwelling Lake Victoria cichlid (Haplochromis nyererei)

The data support the hypothesis that polymorphisms can be a step preceding speciation in cichlid fish and suggest the status of color morphs as phenotypes of one species or as separate biological species is a function of environmental conditions that vary considerably between the localities.

Social Behavior Patterns as Determinants of Reproductive Success in the Guppy, Poecilia Reticulata Peters (Pisces: Poeciliidae) an Experimental Study of the Effects of Intermale Competition, Female Choice, and Sexual Selection

It was hypothesized that courtship displays and conspicuous male coloration are sexually selected characters which evolved in response to the occupation of invariable habitats or specialized ecological niches by a sexually monomorphic ancestor, thus resulting in polymorphic populations.

Female choice of sites versus mates in a coral reef fish, Thalassoma bifasciatum

  • R. R. Warner
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1987

Positive genetic correlation between female preference and preferred male ornament in sticklebacks

This prediction is tested at the within-population level with three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, which show conspicuous sexual dichromatisnr, and the redness of the sons correlated with the preference for red of their sisters, thus the two traits show positive genetic correlation.