Female preference for dominant males in the Mexican mojarra cichlid fish, Cichlasoma istlanum

By Castillo, Yuritzi & E. Arce

Journal of Fish Biology, pp. epub 30-Sep-2020. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14569

" It is widely assumed that female preference and male competition operate simultaneously during sexual selection. Dominance is likely an honest indicator of male quality, and females can identify and choose the dominant male to reproduce with individuals with greater competitive abilities, thus improving the quality and competitiveness of their offspring. In this context, few studies have investigated female preference in relation to male fighting ability. The Mexican mojarra, Cichlasoma istlanum, is a cichlid species native to the Balsas River basin. It is territorial during reproduction and provides parental care. Males commonly engage in territorial defence, whereas females care directly for offspring. This study examined whether females prefer dominant males that exhibit more aggressive behaviour. The authors conducted experiments using groups of two males and one female to test competitive ability in males and female preference. They also quantified the time during which the female associated with the dominant male and the subordinate male after observing the outcome of a fight between the two males. They found that Mexican mojarra females preferred dominant males and that the time females spent associating with males was positively related with their aggressive behaviours during competition. These results indicate that dominant males were more attractive than subordinate males to female Mexican mojarra. The relationship between female preference and male dominance in the Mexican mojarra demonstrates the importance of male competitive ability for future parental care in reproduction "

Classification: Behavior, Central and North America.

Language: English

Name substitutions

Castillo, Yuritzi & E. Arce. 2020. "Female preference for dominant males in the Mexican mojarra cichlid fish, Cichlasoma istlanum". Journal of Fish Biology. pp. epub. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14569 (crc09946) (abstract)