Color pattern changes in fishes can vary from nearly instantaneous changes to long term, developmental (ontogenetic) changes. Species-typical patterns of ontogenetic color change (OCC) can provide insight regarding the behavior, ecology, and evolution of a taxon. Observations performed on laboratory-reared Firemouth Cichlids, Thorichthys meeki, from hatching to age 205 days, revealed 16 dynamic color pattern elements. Color pattern changes were correlated with age, but a significantly better correlation was found with body size. Ontogenetic color change in the Firemouth Cichlid featured the expression of some transitory color pattern elements not found in adults, and several elements and their sequence of expression were similar to those previously described for other cichlid species.
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