Zur Genetik und biologischen Bedeutung des Aggressionsverhaltens von Poecilia sphenops (Pisces, Poeciliidae)

Untersuchungen an Bastarden ober- und unterirdisch lebender Populationen



The aggressive behaviour of hybrids between an epigeous and a cave-dwelling form of the toothcarp Poecilia sphenops was investigated in order to test whether a genetically determined reduction of aggressive behaviour exists in the cave population. The scores for five different elements of this behaviour as well as for the duration of fights support this hypothesis and suggest that aggressive behaviour in Poecilia spbenops is controlled by a closely linked polygenic system. On the basis of laboratory and field investigations, to aggressive behaviour is attributed the function of giving large ♂♂ a reproductive advantage within the framework of a body-size dependent rank order. Small ♀♀ appear to counteract this onesided selective advantage through a special strategy of sexual behaviour.