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weird behaviour dept.

I put a pair of agassizi in a community tank with four keyhole cichlids. Now
that the apistos have settled in, they are starting to display in keyhole
fashion! Instead of the heads down threat display or the big tail swish
display that apistos employ on each other, first the male, and now the
female have joined in with the keyholes as they do their group "hanging
vertically and shoving each other" display.

For those who haven't seen this very attractive behaviour, the keyholes
spread their fins and hang nose up. Usually one turns very dark and hangs
vertically while the others nose around it. The stiller the bunch, the more
intense it all gets. And they are at it for half an hour at the time. The
winner usually has its nose almost to the surface. So this is a group
display very unlike apisto behaviour (in my limited experience). And when a
little female agassizi is pushing her way into the middle of the bunch all
easily five times her size and hanging the stillest and most vertical, it
really is amusing. Of course, when she lays eggs, its back to the more usual
head-down threat.

Has anyone any references or links to good articles on what controls display
behaviour in cichlids - and even discussions of such mimicry of displays
which would seem outside the natural repertoire?

from John McCrone

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