Red devil cichlid color variants studied

red devil

Red devil cichlid Amphilophus labiatum by AtelierMonpliOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Variants of the same species of cichlids are fairly common. Usually the variations are subtle and the result of a physical separation between two or more groups. But what about color variants within a population? Scientists have always wondered why some plant or animal species can have different colors within the same population. Natural selection is supposed to determine which color is best and be the only color in the group. The red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatum) is one of those species where two different color morphs can exist within one population. A paper published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology tries to answer this very question about the two color variants of red devil cichlids. A synopsis of the paper can be found HERE.

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