The use of standard aggression testing methods to predict combat behaviourand contest outcome in Rivulus marmoratus dyads (Teleostei : Cyprinodontidae)

Citation
Rl. Earley et al., The use of standard aggression testing methods to predict combat behaviourand contest outcome in Rivulus marmoratus dyads (Teleostei : Cyprinodontidae), ETHOLOGY, 106(8), 2000, pp. 743-761
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
8
Year of publication
2000
Pages
743 - 761
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200008)106:8<743:TUOSAT>2.0.ZU;2-2
Abstract
Aggression plays an important role in animal contests, but the extent to wh ich aggression correlates with dominance has been a topic of much debate. T he relationship between aggression and dominance ability in the hermaphrodi tic fish, Rivulus marmoratus, was investigated using three standard protoco ls, the mirror test (Mi), model test (Mo), and standard opponent test (So). In each, display latency, attack latency, and biting frequency were quanti fied for a test individual towards its opponent. The general rank-order for eliciting strength of the three different stimuli was Mi > So > Mo. The re lationships between the individual indices from the standard tests and thre e dyadic contest variables, initiator of display, initiator of attack, and winner, were analysed in contests between previously tested pairs to ascert ain how well the standard protocols predicted dyadic contest behaviour/outc ome. Display and attack latencies in the standard tests did not predict the level of analogous combat behaviour. Biting frequency differences between individuals in a pair in the So and Mo tests as well as display latency dif ferences in the Mi test contributed to predictions of contest outcome. The individual that scored higher, relative to its opponent, won a significantl y greater proportion of the bouts. These findings demonstrate the importanc e of relative differences in aggression in determining dominance. However, the predictive value of standard test behaviour is test-specific and, based on the available literature, depends on both the species used and the cont ext in which they are employed.