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.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.