Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Honesty and carotenoids in a pigmented female fish

Alexandria C Brown, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis states that diet-derived carotenoids are traded-off among competing physiological demands, but this statement is rarely tested in ornamented females. The following dissertation tests the carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis in reverse sexually dimorphic convict cichlids (Amantitlania siquia) using carotenoid-supplemented diet treatments and a field-based study of carotenoid intake. Spectral, microscopic, and chemical analysis determined how females allocated the pigments to tissues and how those decisions affected their ventral patch coloration. The results presented in the current study show that carotenoids enhance offspring growth and survival, lower oxidative stress, and reduce the time to clear a parasite. The two final chapters suggest that carotenoid limitation and absorption may not explain carotenoid allocation dynamics in A. siquia. The final chapter proposes an alternative to the carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis as a mechanism to explain the relationship among color, parasites, and oxidative stress.^

Subject Area

Evolution & development|Biochemistry|Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Brown, Alexandria C, "Honesty and carotenoids in a pigmented female fish" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3615400.