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Context consistency and seasonal variation in boldness of male two-spotted gobies
Magnhagen, C.; Wacker, S.; Forsgren, E.; Myhre, L.C.; Espy, E.; Amundsen, T. (2014). Context consistency and seasonal variation in boldness of male two-spotted gobies. PLoS One 9(3): e93354.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Marine Sciences
    Marine Sciences > Marine Sciences General
    Scientific Community
    Scientific Publication

Project Top | Authors 
  • Association of European marine biological laboratories, more

Authors  Top 
  • Magnhagen, C.
  • Wacker, S.
  • Forsgren, E.
  • Myhre, L.C.
  • Espy, E.
  • Amundsen, T.

    In order to attribute the behaviour of an animal to its personality it is important to study whether certain behavioural traits show up consistently across a variety of contexts. The aim of this study was to investigate whether breeding state males of the two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens, showed consistent degree of boldness when tested in four different behaviour assays. We also wanted to investigate whether boldness varied over the breeding season in accordance with changes in male-male competition for matings. We used two standard assays (the emergence test and the open field test), and two simple assays related to threat response. Repeated runs of each of the tests were highly correlated, and we found significant correlations between all four assays. Thus, we have documented both a within and a between-context consistency in risk-taking behaviour. Furthermore, we found that goby males studied during the middle of the breeding season were bolder than males studied at the end of the season. Since male two-spotted gobies face strongly decreasing male-male competition as the season progresses, the benefit of being bold for the mating success of the males may differ over the time of the breeding season. The difference in behaviour found over the season thus corresponds well with the sexual dynamics of this model species.

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