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The ontogenetic development of egg-spots in the haplochromine cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni

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Tel.: +41 61 267 03 03; email: walter.salzburger@unibas.ch

Abstract

A series of Astatotilapia burtoni photographs were used to investigate the ontogenetic development of male egg-spots, a putative evolutionary key innovation of haplochromine cichlids. Four stages of egg-spot development were defined and all males had developed true egg-spots (stage 4) before reaching a standard length of 25 mm. Raising condition only slightly influenced the timing of the first appearance of true egg-spots.

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