Department Fish Ecology and Evolution

Rapid generation of ecologically relevant behavioral novelty in experimental cichlid hybrids

June 24, 2020

Interspecific hybrids can have transgressive phenotypes that may allow them to explore novel ecological niches.

Using a combination of behavioral assays, morphometric analyses, and genetic mapping, we demonstrate transgressive segregation in morphology and in a novel trophic behavior in F2 hybrids between two generalist cichlid species from Lake Malawi. Such rapid generation of novel ecologically relevant phenotypes might contribute to the rapid generation of ecological diversity in cichlid fish adaptive radiations.