Behaviour 2019
Does risk-taking behavior in the Mangrove Rivulus differ among populations and genetic clones?
Virginia G. Hines, Alayna Nicotera, Katie E. McGhee. The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, United States

In many taxa, individuals often show consistent behaviors through time and across contexts, similar to human personality. For example, individuals might react in a similar way to a range of potentially risky or unfamiliar stimuli. We explored the relationships among risk-taking behaviors in multiple clones of the hermaphroditic self-fertilizing mangrove rivulus across three sequential assays. Specifically, we measured (1) how quickly individuals emerged from a safe shelter into a novel tank, (2) how exploratory individuals were in the novel tank, and (3) how quickly individuals approached a novel object. There was substantial behavioral variation among individuals and we found significant correlations among behaviors in these different assays. Our results suggest that individuals are consistent in their risk-taking behavior across a variety of potentially threatening situations. The weak effect of genetic clones also suggests that genetics might not play a strong role in the formation of this axis of personality. Overall our results suggest that mangrove rivulus do indeed show personalities that shape how individuals react to a variety of potentially risky situations.