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Courtship Display Persists Despite Early Social Deprivation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Abstract

Early experience is known to be important in the development
of mating behaviour. The behavioural and chemical stimuli obtained by observing
adults interacting are thought to operate as template by which young acquire the
ability to sexually display when appropriate. But, while the importance of early
social interactions for the development of mating behaviour is well accepted,
how social deprivation at different onto-genetic phases contributes for this
effect is poorly understood. Here, we address this gap by asking how social
deprivation at different ontogenetic phases (before or after 6wk) mediates male
mating behaviour in the Trinidadian guppy. We show that in the absence of early
social interaction, the latency of mating behaviour is briefly delayed, but that
all individuals were able to sexually display in <30min. Interestingly,
regardless of the timing of social deprivation, mating behaviour starts sooner
under female-biased sex ratios environments that than under a male-biased sex
ratio, suggesting that male sexual behaviour is driven by female cues. The
short-lived effects of social deprivation on mating behaviour reflect the
extraordinary innate plasticity of guppies, which is likely to contribute to
their success as invasive species.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-502
Number of pages7
JournalEthology
Volume119
Issue number6
Early online date5 Apr 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • SPERM COMPETITION RISK, MALE GUPPIES, POECILIA-RETICULATA, SEXUAL-BEHAVIOR, PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY, FEMALE PRESENCE, MALE-RATS, ENVIRONMENT, PREFERENCES, EXPERIENCE

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