Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 517849, 10 pages
Research Article

Spawning Coordination of Mates in a Shell Brooding Cichlid

1Department of Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Wohlenstr 50a, 3032 Hinterkappelen, Switzerland
2Division of International and Environmental Health, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Finkenhubelweg 11, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3Clinical Trials Unit Bern, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Finkenhubelweg 11, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

Received 20 January 2012; Revised 27 April 2012; Accepted 26 May 2012

Academic Editor: Tetsumi Takahashi

Copyright © 2012 Dolores Schütz et al. 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.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary Video: shows spawning behaviour of the cichlid fish Lamprologus callipterus, filmed inside a 1000 liter tank at Ethologische Station Hasli (Department of Behavioural Ecology, IEE, University of Bern, Switzerland). The experimental setting of our publication was in smaller 100 liter tanks, with one male, five females and five plexi-glass prepared empty shells (shells of the snail Neothauma tanganicense), of which two shells were accessible to the females and could be videotaped.

The first part shows a male at the shell entrance, where a female is currently egglaying deep inside the shell (not visible). The male shows the typical spawning behaviours: (1) male puts his mouth inside the shell (“head-in”); (2) male puts his mouth inside the shell and opens/closes his mouth in rapid sequence, which produces the water current into the shell (“mouthing”); (3) male positions his genital papilla over the shell entrance and releases sperm (“spawning”).

The last part shows a shell prepared with plexi-glass. In the experimental setting of our publication two of these shells where placed close together, always without the blue covering. In this example video, the blue covering was removed when the female had probably almost finished spawning and thereby both the male and the female were disturbed. Nevertheless, the female shows twice “shifting” behaviour, which in our undisturbed experimental setting usually occurred after male mouthing. Clearly visible are the yellow eggs attached to the plexi-glass. Eggs are usually laid singly with a 2 minute interval. The egg can be seen protruding from the female papilla when she moves deep into the shell, after which she carefully attaches the egg to the surface of the plexi‐glass or the shell (unfortunately not filmed).

  1. Supplementary Video