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The ontogenetic development of egg-spots in the haplochromine cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni

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Abstract:

A series of Astatotilapia burtoni photographs were used to investigate the ontogenetic development of male egg-spots, a putative evolutionary key innovation of haplochromine cichlids. Four stages of egg-spot development were defined and all males had developed true egg-spots (stage 4) before reaching a standard length of 25 mm. Raising condition only slightly influenced the timing of the first appearance of true egg-spots.

Keywords: adaptive radiation; egg-dummies; key innovation; ontogeny; photographic series

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.02944.x

Affiliations: Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Vesalgasse 1, 4051 Basel, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2011

bsc/jfb/2011/00000078/00000005/art00022
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