Male Betta Splendens: Measuring Aggressive Behavior in Response to Foreign Stimuli
Aggressive behavior is exhibited by many species and is critical to self-preservation and communication. However, aggression is not always advantageous, and certain stimuli are not worth the energy expended in a physical response. Here, a sample of captively bred male veil-tailed betta fish, Betta Splendens, were exposed to 4 stimuli of varying resemblance to competitor conspecific males. Results were analyzed following the commencement of 300 trials, showing statistically significant variation in the time used to respond to each different stimulus. On average, the bettas responded most quickly to the stimuli that closely resembled a living competitor. The analysis supports the hypothetical propensity of bettas to respond more aggressively towards stimuli which resemble competitor conspecific males. This is evolutionarily advantageous for the protection of resources, territory, and mates.
Brust, Katie, "Male Betta Splendens: Measuring Aggressive Behavior in Response to Foreign Stimuli" (2020). IdeaFest. 134.