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Predator-inspection behaviour in female three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus is associated with status of gravidity

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Differences in predator-inspection behaviour between gravid and non-gravid female as well as between male and female three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus were investigated. Gravid females confronted with a live rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss showed bolder inspection behaviour than non-gravid ones. The behaviour of gravid females was comparable with that of males, maybe because both face a high risk of predation. The results indicate that antipredator behaviour in female G. aculeatus is not fixed but adjusted to their reproductive state.

Keywords: boldness; fish; gravidity; inspection behaviour; predation risk; pregnancy

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn, An der Immenburg 1, 53121 Bonn, Germany

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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