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Anim Behav. 1999 Jul;58(1):195-202.

Individual differences in parental care and behaviour profile in the convict cichlid: a correlation study.

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A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences


We examined whether individual differences in patterns of parental care relate to individual differences in situations involving novelty, risk and aggression in the convict cichlid, Cichlasoma (Archocentrus) nigrofasciatum. Individual differences in situations of novelty and risk could be summarized along two axes: Freezing versus Activity and Activity-Inspection versus Freezing. However, these factors were not independent and formed a single higher-order dimension of general activity. Parental locomotor activity was negatively correlated with the Freezing versus Activity factor in females. Males that did little brood provisioning tended to be less active in the presence of a novel fish. Individuals that spent more time near their offspring at late brood stages were less inhibited in behavioural tests. Furthermore, extreme assortative mating by body size was found (r(S)=0.91). The cichlids also spawned assortatively by the factor Freezing versus Activity and by the general activity factor (r(S)>/=0.49), but not by the factor Activity- Inspection versus Freezing or by aggressiveness.


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