The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Tobias Spanke

PhD Student
Tel: +49 228 9122-401
Fax: +49 228 9122-212
Mail: t.spanke [at]



Field of work

My field of research covers the morphology of multiple ricefish species (Adranichthydae) located in Indonesia. A few endemic species inhabiting the island of Sulawesi (Adrianichthys oophorus; Oryzias eversi; O. sarasinorum) exhibit a very unique brooding strategy in which females keep their spawned eggs attached to their body instead of striping them off under water. This behaviour was termed "pelvic brooding" and goes along with multiple morphological adaptations. 

The description of the necessary traits to perform pelvic brooding is the main taks of my work and involves the use of µCT-imaging, 3D-reconstruction, geometric morphometrics as well as classic histology. To sort out the adaptations specificly associated with pelvic brooding, I am not only interested in pelvic brooding females, but also their male counterparts well as non-pelvic brooding ricefishes on Sulawesi.

Some of the traits I describe will subsequentially be used by Co-workers in genetic studies involving QTL-mapping approaches. These methods will hopefully yield answers about the molecular basis of pelvic brooding and resolve the taxonomy of endemic ricefishes on Sulawesi.


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie

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