" The patterns of mate size and parental care of a monogamous cichlid fish, Cichlasoma maculicauda, were studied in Gatun Lake, Panama. Males defend territories which serve as courtship and nest sites. Within a population most mates in pairs are of equal size rank. In each pair the male is larger than the female, probably because most mature males are larger than most mature females. Clutch size increases with female body size. Male size affects breeding success in two ways. First, larger males provide nest sites less susceptible to destructive wave action. Second, young of larger males grow faster than young of smaller males. Large males defeat small males in contests for position in feeding areas, and this may provide their young with better feeding conditions. In the laboratory young growth rates increase with food abundance, and at high levels of food surpass those observed in nature. Fast growth of young reduces their vulnerability to predators and should allow parents to breed more often. Young survival rates improve with the size of the parents, so that larger fish raise more offspring at each breeding attempt. These observations suggest why preference for large mates should occur "
Classification: Behavior, Central and North America.
Reference in bibliography for species (1)
- Vieja maculicauda referred to as Cichlasoma maculicauda [p. 193].