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Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues

Swaney, WT, Cabrera-Alvarez, MJ and Reader, SM (2015) Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues. BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES, 118. pp. 42-46. ISSN 0376-6357

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Predation is an important factor during adaptation to novel environments and the feralisation of introduced domestic species often involves responding appropriately to allopatric predators despite a background of domestication and inbreeding. Twenty years ago domestic guppies were introduced to a semi-natural environment at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands, where they have since been exposed to avian predation. We compared predation-linked behaviours in this feral population and in domestic guppies akin to the original founders. We found that both responded to a novel predator and to conspecific alarm cues. However shoaling, an important anti-predator behaviour, was higher among feral guppies both at baseline and when exposed to the novel predator. We did not observe a linked suite of anti-predator behaviours across shoaling, predator inspection, alarm substance sensitivity and boldness, suggesting that these responses may be decoupled from one another depending on local predation regimes. As we compared two populations, we cannot identify the causal factors determining population differences, however, our results do suggest that shoaling is either a particularly consequential anti-predator adaptation or the most labile of the behaviours we tested. Finally, the behavioural adaptability of domestic guppies may help to explain their success as an invasive species.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0801 Artificial Intelligence And Image Processing, 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
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Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 08:37
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:56
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.beproc.2015.05.010
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2093

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