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Abstract

It has been hypothesized that in maternal mouthbrooding cichlids the conspicuous markings on the male's anal fin function as “egg-dummies” by fooling the female into snapping at them, thereby inhaling sperm and assuring fertilization of the eggs in the mouth. I show experimentally in Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor, an East African maternal mouthbrooder, that indeed oral fertilization takes place. Nevertheless, external fertilization plays a significant role, too.