Differential predation on the two colour morphs of Nicaraguan Crater lake Midas cichlid fish : implications for the maintenance of its gold-dark polymorphism

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Comparative genomics of parallel in repeated adaptive radiations (GenAdap)
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Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2014, 112(1), pp. 123-131. ISSN 0024-4066. eISSN 1095-8312. Available under: doi: 10.1111/bij.12271
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Predation can play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of prey colour polymorphisms. Several factors are known to affect predator choice, including the prey's relative abundance and conspicuousness. In polymorphic prey species, predators often target the most common or most visible morphs. To test if predator choice can explain why in Midas cichlid fish the more visible (gold) morph is also more rare than the inconspicuous dark morph, we conducted predation experiments using two differently coloured wax models in Nicaraguan crater lakes. Contrary to expectations, we observed an overall higher attack rate on the much more abundant, yet less conspicuous dark models, and propose frequency-dependent predation as a potential explanation for this result. Interestingly, the attack rate differed between different types of predators. While avian predators were biased towards the abundant and less colourful dark morphs, fish predators did not show a strong bias. However, the relative attack rate of fish predators seemed to vary with the clarity of the water, as attack rates on gold models went up as water clarity decreased. The relative differential predation rates on different morphs might impact the relative abundance of both colour morphs and thus explain the maintenance of the colour polymorphism.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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Amphilophus citrinellus, Amphilophus tolteca, apostatic selection, polychromatism
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ISO 690TORRES-DOWDALL, Julián, Gonzalo MACHADO-SCHIAFFINO, Andreas F. KAUTT, Henrik KUSCHE, Axel MEYER, 2014. Differential predation on the two colour morphs of Nicaraguan Crater lake Midas cichlid fish : implications for the maintenance of its gold-dark polymorphism. In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2014, 112(1), pp. 123-131. ISSN 0024-4066. eISSN 1095-8312. Available under: doi: 10.1111/bij.12271
BibTex
@article{TorresDowdall2014Diffe-27900,
  year={2014},
  doi={10.1111/bij.12271},
  title={Differential predation on the two colour morphs of Nicaraguan Crater lake Midas cichlid fish : implications for the maintenance of its gold-dark polymorphism},
  number={1},
  volume={112},
  issn={0024-4066},
  journal={Biological Journal of the Linnean Society},
  pages={123--131},
  author={Torres-Dowdall, Julián and Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo and Kautt, Andreas F. and Kusche, Henrik and Meyer, Axel}
}
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