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Hi Everyone,

I have a couple of questions about something interesting I recently read about Masked Julie (Julidochromis transcriptus) breeding behavior. I summarize the main findings of the study here:

http://bird-n-bee.blogspot.com/2011/02/ ... ry-of.html

Essentially the study found that females prefer wedge-shaped crevices to lay eggs in because they can entice two males to simultaneously brood the eggs with her. A large male, who can enter the wide end of the wedge but cannot squeeze into the narrow end, and a small male, who hides in the narrow end, brooding eggs but out of reach of the big male.

My questions are:

1. Have any of you who keep these fish found this kind of behavior - or have you tried offering wedge-shaped shelters?

2. Are you aware of any other cichlids in which a female manages to simultaneously mate with two males?

Thanks!
Scott

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Interested in animal behavior? Visit The Birds and the Bees: Things you were
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The one problem I see with this study is that the females of this species are often as large or larger than the males... ergo they wouldn't be able to fit into the crevice themselves. There is some documentation of Tang mouthbrooders spawning with multiple males at the same time. I can't remember which species offhand but the study was conducted by Sigal Balshine at Mac Master University.
 

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J. transcriptus males are larger than females. That being said, I can't say I know exactly where my tranny "Bemba kissi" have spawned other than the general rock-pile, but I assure you my male is VERY intolerant of another male anywhere near the spawning site rocks. I enjoyed my observations when one came near. The female would approach the intruder and sort of drift sideways flashing colors and flairing its fins. I coined this "posturing". The intruder would match the posturing. Eventually either the intruder backed down, faded in color and closed its fins - or the male arrived and drove it away in a big hurry.
 

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Lestango said:
J. transcriptus males are larger than females.
If you ignore J.transcriptus Gombi that is... or like me, believe Gombi to not be Transcriptus...
 

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In cichlid behavior having multiple males is a situation of what is referred to as a sneaker male. A males that act as a female fooling the males into tolerating them for a short period of time (usually they are discovered when its too late)
 

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IMO "Gombi" are now pretty much accepted to be a dwarf variant of J. marlieri and some of the defining factors is that the females are larger than the males and additional stripes exist on the cheeks. Also, geographically, if they were in reality variants of J. transcriptus their variant population would be quite disjunct from trannys locales in NW L. Tanganyika (sic Bemba).

I have heard of sneakers occuring in Malawi, as well as females impersonating males, among the mouthbrooding Mbuna, but not among Tang substrate spawners. "Never say never" though! But thats a story for another string to enlighten me.
 

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Yep in tanks I would guess the bigger male would in most situations take extreme measures against the smaller male whenever it comes out for food. After all what has he to gain (and quite a lot to lose in number of eggs firtilized) from allowing the small guy to live?
I have seven of these guys in a 36" tank. Not realy expecting to get anything other than a pair out of em but maybe keep an eye out for communal breeding now. 8)

All the best James
 

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Sneaker males are not uncommon across Tang substrate spawners. The best example is L. callipterus but its been observed in other species as well.
 
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