Cannibalism in biparental cichlids


Female Neolamprologus caudopunctatus. Photo credit Michael Bernkopf-Vetmeduni Vienna

Research in cichlid cannibalism, specifically what triggers a cichlid to go from caregiver to cannibal, was conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Some interesting and surprising conclusions were reached.

In short, in order for a cichlid not to revert to cannibalism it must perceive that its eggs are continuously in its care. Once its eggs are gone, it is no longer a parent and will eat eggs and fail to recognize eggs as its own. It was also determined that females are more likely to engage in cannibalistic behavior than males. For complete information on this study, its methods and conclusions visit Science Direct for the full article. To discuss this behavior, in particular by Neolamprologus caudopunctatus, visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.


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