Poster Title

Repeatability of Intrinsic Aggression in Green Swordtail Fish (Xiphophorus Helleri) and Contest Outcome.

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Animals across taxa must often compete for resources that are essential to survival and reproduction such as mates, territory, and social status. Past studies have focused on behavioral attributes such as attack latency, bite number and frequency, and threatdisplay number and frequency and the role they play in determining the outcome of such contests. However, no rigorous statistical treatment has yet been done to ascertain whether this behavior is manifested in any repeatable manner. This experiment examined whether an individual's aggressive responses were consistent over time when subjected to a series of a standardized aggression test and whether those behaviors predicted the dynamics and winner of subsequent staged fights. Relatively high repeatability statistics indicate a high repeatability of intrinsic aggression although correlation with contest outcome has not been definitively established.

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Repeatability of Intrinsic Aggression in Green Swordtail Fish (Xiphophorus Helleri) and Contest Outcome.

Animals across taxa must often compete for resources that are essential to survival and reproduction such as mates, territory, and social status. Past studies have focused on behavioral attributes such as attack latency, bite number and frequency, and threatdisplay number and frequency and the role they play in determining the outcome of such contests. However, no rigorous statistical treatment has yet been done to ascertain whether this behavior is manifested in any repeatable manner. This experiment examined whether an individual's aggressive responses were consistent over time when subjected to a series of a standardized aggression test and whether those behaviors predicted the dynamics and winner of subsequent staged fights. Relatively high repeatability statistics indicate a high repeatability of intrinsic aggression although correlation with contest outcome has not been definitively established.