Correlation between boldness and body mass in natural populations of the poeciliid Brachyrhaphis episcopi
The boldness of individual Brachyrhaphis episcopi, collected from regions of high and low predation, was investigated using two independent assays: (1) the time to emerge from cover and (2) the propensity to leave shoal mates and investigate a novel object. A strong correlation between the two assays was revealed such that fish that emerged from shelter sooner were also more likely to approach a novel object. This is indicative of a boldness personality axis acting across both behavioural contexts. Fish from high-predation areas were bolder than those from low-predation areas and males were bolder than females. A significant correlation between body mass, standard length (LS) and boldness score was also found. In general, bold fish had a greater body mass at a given LS than shy fish. These results suggest that personality traits are strongly influenced by population-specific ecological variables and may have fitness consequences in wild populations.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, 2109, Australia
Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, EH9 3JT, U.K.
Publication date: 2007-12-01