Lake Malawi Species • Irradescent spots on gill plates

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Irradescent spots on gill plates

Postby perryclark » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:07 am

Restocking a few 100 gl tanks I've noticed a few of the males seem to have highly reflective spots aound the gills, even though the males have not fully coloured up yet. In birds iridescence is a good indicator to the opposite sex as to the health and strength of a potential mate.
Does this rule apply to African cichlids?
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Re: Irradescent spots on gill plates

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:55 am

No, but I did not know that about birds. Venting is the only reliable way to verify gender, and it does not work well until the fish are fairly mature.
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Re: Irradescent spots on gill plates

Postby noki » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:51 pm

I've noticed those iridescent gill spots but have never really noticed anything about their purpose. But the fish probably see those spots underwater and they probably mean something as far as communication/identifaction/etc. As far as humans looking at the fish with bright lights in clear water, we look at the more obvious things.
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Re: Irradescent spots on gill plates

Postby perryclark » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:11 am

Even pigeons rely heavily on iridescent markings around the neck.
As birds arrived on earth after the fish, via the dinosaurs, one can see many helpful attributes being passed down. eg digits on a limb are usually 5 in number. So what's the best way to pick a mate that will pass on a high chance of success? I suppose the more pragmatic way to describe it would be to say,''Certain animals/fish are attracted to shiny colours in mates, which are also, incidentally linked to strength of survival. These parents pass on this predilection, and having better genes have more surviving progeny.
Why I ask is that it probably means cichlid vision is skewed towards certain wavelengths and the appropriate ability to pick up the strength /survival indicating indicators would have been shaped by the nature of the lakes and their light.
But I'm only surmising. Anybody know of any research?
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