Navigation Links
Cichlid male nannies help out, especially if they've been sneaking
Date:10/13/2011

The highly social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa, live in social groups consisting of a dominant breeding pair and between 1 and 15 subordinates of both sexes that perform brood care, territory defence and maintenance. Subordinates are often distantly related or unrelated to the dominants.

Cooperative breeding of this kind has puzzled evolutionary biologists for a long time as it is costly and often does not generate obvious fitness benefits to subordinates. In the case of N. pulcher, the main benefit for subordinates to stay in a territory of dominant breeders seems to be the protection gained against predators provided by the large group members.

Previously, it was assumed that male subordinates never achieved paternity but the Bristol researchers suspected that, due to low relatedness between dominants and subordinates, mature male subordinates would attempt to father offspring and that achieving paternity would increase their helping behaviour.

The team, led by Dr Rick Bruintjes, tested this theory by studying groups of cichlids at Kasakalawe Point, Zambia and found that while dominant females were the mothers of 99.7 per cent of all offspring, the dominant males only sired 88.8 per cent. Subordinate females did not participate in reproduction, but male subordinates successfully gained paternity in 27.8 per cent of all clutches.

Furthermore, subordinate males that sired offspring defended more rigorously against egg predators compared to similar males that did not sire offspring, and they also tended to stay closer to the breeding shelter.

The study shows that the cooperative behaviour of the subordinate male fish has a direct fitness benefit for them that is, producing their own offspring as well as such indirect benefits as safety.

Dr Bruintjes said: "This is the first evidence in a cooperatively breeding fish species that the helping effort of male subordinates may depend on obtained paternity, which stresses the need to consider direct fitness benefits in evolutionary studies of helping behaviour."


'/>"/>
Contact: Hannah Johnson
hannah.johnson@bristol.ac.uk
0044-117-331-8092
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Paternity of subordinates raises cooperative effort in cichlids
2. East African cichlid fish offer new understanding of genetic basis of sex determination
3. The importance of being helpful -- Cooperative cichlids boost their own reproductive success
4. Power corrupts, especially when it lacks status
5. Headaches are common in year following traumatic brain injury, especially among females
6. Intense sweets taste especially good to some kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging ... server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A ... Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan ... at the Las Vegas Convention Center April ... Click here for ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... beneficial microbe delivery system, announced it has secured $2M in funding from an ... City Angels, Carmen Innovations, and SVG Thrive Fund. With this investment, 3Bar is ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art technology which consolidates ... this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma companies etc.) who ... vis a vis their members, under their own brand. Three recent ... ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... unmet need that has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. ... cannot be counted. It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... shopping cart. Now mobile responsive, the new website makes it easy to navigate ... in between. Users can now find detailed product information, educational industry content and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: