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

J Fish Biol. 2011 May;78(5):1588-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.02944.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Body Size
  • Cichlids / anatomy & histology
  • Cichlids / growth & development*
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Male