Brood parasitism of a bagrid catfish (Bagrus meridionalis) by a clariid catfish (Bathyclarias nyasensis) in Lake Malaŵi, Africa

Jay Richard Stauffer, Jr., William F. Loftus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bagrus meridionalis (Bagridae; locally called Kampango) is a large substrate-spawning catfish endemic to Lake Mala'i that exhibits bi-parental care and spawns primarily in the wet season from January to March. The female feeds her young trophic (unfertilized) eggs; the male orally collects offsite benthic organisms, which he brings back to feed the brood. While doing underwater videography in the lake, we observed evidence for brood parasitism of four Kampango nests by the most common clariid catfish in Lake Mala'i, the endemic Bathyclarias nyasensis (locally called Bombe). Parasitized Kampango nests held Bombe young almost exclusively, and these were protected by Kampango adults until they exceeded 100 mm SL. We found that female and male Kampango fed the Bombe juveniles with trophic eggs and macroinvertebrates, respectively, as they do their own young. These observations represent a sophisticated example of cuckoo behavior in fishes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalCopeia
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 26 2010

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brood parasitism
catfish
lakes
nest
lake
Bagridae
nests
videography
egg
fish behavior
parental care
benthic organisms
wet season
macroinvertebrates
macroinvertebrate
spawning
substrate
fish
Africa
young

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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title = "Brood parasitism of a bagrid catfish (Bagrus meridionalis) by a clariid catfish (Bathyclarias nyasensis) in Lake Malaŵi, Africa",
abstract = "Bagrus meridionalis (Bagridae; locally called Kampango) is a large substrate-spawning catfish endemic to Lake Mala'i that exhibits bi-parental care and spawns primarily in the wet season from January to March. The female feeds her young trophic (unfertilized) eggs; the male orally collects offsite benthic organisms, which he brings back to feed the brood. While doing underwater videography in the lake, we observed evidence for brood parasitism of four Kampango nests by the most common clariid catfish in Lake Mala'i, the endemic Bathyclarias nyasensis (locally called Bombe). Parasitized Kampango nests held Bombe young almost exclusively, and these were protected by Kampango adults until they exceeded 100 mm SL. We found that female and male Kampango fed the Bombe juveniles with trophic eggs and macroinvertebrates, respectively, as they do their own young. These observations represent a sophisticated example of cuckoo behavior in fishes.",
author = "{Stauffer, Jr.}, {Jay Richard} and Loftus, {William F.}",
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Brood parasitism of a bagrid catfish (Bagrus meridionalis) by a clariid catfish (Bathyclarias nyasensis) in Lake Malaŵi, Africa. / Stauffer, Jr., Jay Richard; Loftus, William F.

In: Copeia, No. 1, 26.02.2010, p. 71-74.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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