Male interactions in a group of Malaŵi cichlids

R. Jordan, D. Mellor, L. Wilt, D. Gershenson, D. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The haplochromine cichlids of the East African rift lakes comprise one of the most diverse radiations of vertebrates. The goal of the study was to investigate sexual selection in the Mbuna, a group of Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlids. In particular, the effects of male morphology, dominance behaviour, and territory were investigated in the context of female territory visits and male territory preference analyses. Female visits of males in the field were associated with aspects of male behaviour, body depth, and territory. Data from the laboratory suggest that males hold similar preferences for types of territory which to defend. It is suggested that male-male interaction should be given more attention in the study of the reproductive isolation and differential male mating success in the Mbuna cichlids of Lake Malawi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalEthology Ecology and Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


  • Mbuna
  • dominance
  • haplochromines
  • lekking
  • male competition
  • sexual selection


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