Neolamprologus pulcher. Photo courtesy of Dave's Fish

It wasn't long after I started keeping cichlids that I started hearing about hormones and its effects on cichlids. Everything from stimulating breeding to restricting growth. One of the ideas was that a dominant fish could suppress the growth of other males thereby keeping possible contenders at bay. A study published in The Royal Society finds that hormones do play a role in the social and hierarchical structures of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. The study suggests higher levels of certain hormones found in sub-dominant may keep them submissive and facilitate social interaction between other sub-dominant fish.

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