Do female Siamese fighting fish copy the mate choice of others?

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Choosing the right partner may be a difficult task. Therefore, observing the choice of another individual in
order to copy its decision is an option which may have lower costs and present additional benefits. Mate
choice copying has been documented in several species, including fish such as sailfin mollies and guppies.
Female Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) have been reported to eavesdrop and exploit social
information in aggressive interactions and may therefore also use information contained in other’s mate
choice. In this experiment, we aimed at establishing if female fighting fish copy the mate choice of others.
We examined if the initial choice of a female between two males can be changed by observing another
female with the previously rejected male. The two males and the model female(s) were exposed in
different settings to the female subject to test the relative effects of mere association and active courtship
behaviour. We also recorded and analyzed the effects of male body size, colour and behaviour on the
subjects’ responses. Our experiments provide a detailed analysis of the interplay of male properties and
female independent and dependent mate choice strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2008
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEuropean Conference on Behavioural Biology - Dijon, France
Duration: 18 Jul 200820 Jul 2008


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Behavioural Biology

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