Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 470875, 20 pages
Review Article

Mating and Parental Care in Lake Tanganyika's Cichlids

Department of Zoology, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Universitätsplatz 2, 8010 Graz, Austria

Received 30 December 2010; Revised 22 March 2011; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Tetsumi Takahashi

Copyright © 2011 Kristina M. Sefc. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika display a variety of mating and parental care behaviors, including polygamous and monogamous mouthbrooding and substrate breeding, cooperative breeding, as well as various alternative reproductive tactics such as sneaking and piracy. Moreover, reproductive behaviors sometimes vary within species both in space and in time. Here, I survey reports on mating and parenting behaviors of Lake Tanganyika cichlid species and address the evolution of mating and parental care patterns and sexual dimorphism. Notes on measures of sexual selection intensity and the difficulties of defining mating systems and estimating selection intensities at species level conclude the essay.