e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Through a glass darkly? Divergent reactions of eight Lake Tanganyika cichlid species towards their mirror image in their natural environment

    Josi, Dario and Frommen, Joachim G (2021) Through a glass darkly? Divergent reactions of eight Lake Tanganyika cichlid species towards their mirror image in their natural environment. Ethology, 127 (10). pp. 925-933. ISSN 0179-1613

    [img]
    Preview
    Published Version
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

    Download (471kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    Behavioural reactions towards a mirror image are frequently used to measure individual aggression in a standardized way, especially in fishes. However, this approach was criticized recently on several grounds. One point of concern is that mirror tests are often conducted under highly artificial laboratory settings, while there exists a lack of knowledge of how individuals will react towards their reflection in the wild. We measured the responses of eight sympatric lamprologine cichlid species towards their mirror images in their natural environment in Lake Tanganyika. All species reacted by showing aggression towards their mirror image. The occurrence of overt and restrained aggression varied between species, reflecting species-specific aggressive behaviours. The finding that larger species showed a higher amount of overt attacks further supports this interpretation. A commonality across all species was that aggression escalated over time, resembling behavioural patterns during prolonged aggressive encounters between life opponents with similar resource holding potential. These results shed light on the behaviour of closely related fish species towards their mirror image under natural conditions and contribute knowledge to the ongoing discussion on the suitability of mirror tests when measuring aggression.

    Impact and Reach

    Statistics

    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    148Downloads
    6 month trend
    44Hits

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Altmetric

    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record