Cichlid Female changing to a Male

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PokerFish

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I have a 65-gallon tall breeder tank

Six African Peacock adult females
I have rotated different males into the tank over the last year to breed
I gave the females a break for the last month
I moved a young male into the tank about 10 months old ~4 inches
The male is smaller than the largest female that is 5+ inch
When I put the male into the tank, the larger female started to chase the male and make him hide. To a point where it was ultra-aggressive. For 2 days, I had to separate the female so she wouldn’t kill the smaller male.
I know she is a female because she has had babies a couple times. The male is her son.
The strange part is this female is acting like a male with her aggression. She is the tank bully with all the other fish. Now she is doing the mating dance going in circles with another female.
Is it possible she has transforming into a male? I could understand the aggression since she is larger but the mating dance with a female does not make sense to me.
 
  • #2

Demeter

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They cannot change genders but I have also had overly aggressive females who would even bully males. Females, when fighting, will do the fast circling and "shimmy" which should not be confused with breeding. Fast, tight circling often in open water usually leads to lip-locking. I often seen my males doing this and sometimes a couple of females who really dislike each other.
 
  • #3

TClare

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Interesting...sex change is well known in some marine fishes, but I believe it has been reported in some cichlids as well.
 
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