Competition between Color Morphs of the Polychromatic Midas Cichlid Cichlasoma citrinellum

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Science  23 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4075, pp. 806-807
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4075.806


The Midas cichlid, Cichlasoma citrinellum, is a polychromatic fish that occurs in Nicaragua. All of these fish start life as normally colored, cryptic individuals. In some populations a few fish change into conspicuously colored morphs, most frequently gold. When kept in unmixed color groups, golds and normals grow at the same rate; but when they are mixed, growth of the golds becomes faster and that of the normals slower. Golds dominate normals in contests over food, which accounts for their advantage.