Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)

Committee Member

McReynolds, Neil C.

Committee Member

Quintana, Fernando G.

Committee Member

Goonatilake, Rohitha H.


Patterns of Female Mating Preferences for Sarotherodon caroli, from Barombi MboCichlid fish are widely studied for their explosive speciation, which has led to a distinct variety of morphological characteristics and complex reproductive strategies. Cichlids display a variety of parental care strategies, including maternal-only, paternal only, and bi-parental which differentiates them from other vertebrate families. The African cichlid Sarotherodon caroli is endemic to the crater Lake Barombi Mbo located in Western Cameroon. Sarotherodon caroli is a monogamous species and their mating strategy involves defending their territory together one week prior to spawning. The purpose of this experiment is to quantify Sarotherodon caroli mate choice behavior in order to behaviorally define monogamy in this species. In a two-way mate choice experiment, the female Sarotherodon caroli, will spawn with the large male more frequently than the small male. Quantifying the behaviors that define monogamy in this species will provide the foundation for future hormone manipulation studies.