Species-Specific Relationships between Water Transparency and Male Coloration within and between Two Closely Related Lake Victoria Cichlid Species

Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; Selz, Oliver; Ripmeester, Erwin; Seehausen, Ole; Maan, Martine (2012). Species-Specific Relationships between Water Transparency and Male Coloration within and between Two Closely Related Lake Victoria Cichlid Species. International Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2012, pp. 1-12. London: Hindawi 10.1155/2012/161306

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Environmental variation in signalling conditions affects animal communication traits, with possible consequences for sexual selection and reproductive isolation. Using spectrophotometry, we studied how male coloration within and between populations of two closely related Lake Victoria cichlid species (Pundamilia pundamilia and P. nyererei) covaries with water transparency. Focusing on coloration patches implicated in sexual selection, we predicted that in clear waters, with broad-spectrum light, (1) colours should become more saturated and (2) shift in hue away from the dominant ambient wavelengths, compared to more turbid waters. We found support for these predictions for the red and yellow coloration of P. nyererei but not the blue coloration of P. pundamilia. This may be explained by the species difference in depth distribution, which generates a steeper gradient in visual conditions for P. nyererei compared to P. pundamilia. Alternatively, the importance of male coloration in intraspecific sexual selection may differ between the species. We also found that anal fin spots, that is, the orange spots on male haplochromine anal fins that presumably mimic eggs, covaried with water transparency in a similar way for both species. This is in contrast to the other body regions studied and suggests that, while indeed functioning as signals, these spots may not play a role in species differentiation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Selz, Oliver; Ripmeester, Erwin; Seehausen, Ole and Maan, Martine

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2090-8032

Publisher:

Hindawi

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:41

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2017 12:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1155/2012/161306

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.16584

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/16584 (FactScience: 224252)

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