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Non-simulative, or amimetic stimuli in the fish behaviour

Kohda & Watanabe (1986, 1988) have demonstrated that vertically striped fish, such as Coreoperca kawamebari and Macropodus chinensis, prefer to rest at the vertically striped background. Of two horizontally striped fish, Melanochromis auratus and Barbus titteya, M. auratus choose the horizontally striped background, whereas B. titteya are indifferent. At the same time, stripeless Acheilognathus limbata are slightly drawn towards the vertically striped background, but stripeless Carassius auratus show no preference (Kohda & Watanabe, 1988).

Fig.1 shows how stripeless round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, and other gobiids rest near the vertically grating background with green stripes and an additional middle-size black disc (20 mm diameter) attached at the foot of this background. If an artificial background is sufficiently long (longer than 10-15 fish lengths), gobies and other bottom fish, like common gudgeon, Gobius gobius, or common ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus, will rest usualy near the black disc (our observations).

You can carry out own experiments attaching the same or similar discs to the wall of your terrarium at the level of floor. In these cases, small rodents will respond to these stimuli as an entrance to the shelter. The same disc attached horizontally to the tip of vertical stick above the water plays another function. Now all dragonflies and damselflies flying beside will turn towards the disc to use it as an appropriate landing site.

Males of round and some other gobies become black in the reproductive period (Meunier et al., 2009). In this period, black discs or balls induce aggressive behaviuor in males and attract females (our data). Reproductive red-belly males of three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, respond to various stimuli (Darkov, 1980). In particular, they display aggressive responses to red geometric figures and avoid black ones.

Silvery lacustrine bleak, Leucaspius delineatus, aggregate with silvery squares and silvery fish-like flat models (Darkov, 1980). They actively avoid black squares and other black models, but slightly aggregate with live black molly, Poecilia sphenops.

On the other hand, you can use black discs or discs with the contrast edges and spots to bring together early fry of mouthbreeding Mozambique tilapia, Tilapia mossambica (Fig.2: Baerends, 1957).

When the foregoing vertically striped background comes in motion, fish follow more or less stable, depending on their ecology and locomotion, the moving background. In general, this behaviour, named optomotor, is innate, weakly dependent on the shape of visual stimuli (stripes or other figures, see data by Shaw & Sachs, 1967, for schooling fish, Menidia menidia) and weakly modified by the vital experience of animals. To study optomotor responses, fish are usually placed into the circular transparent tanks that, in turn, are surrounded with the rotating striped drums.

In fish, rotating striped drums are mainly used to study optomotor responses and large field motion vision (e.g., Schaerer & Neumeyer, 1996).

Animals demonstrate behavioural responses of other kinds in respect of small rotating striped drums, small moving discs or other figures, small rotating sectorial or dotted discs and flashing light spots.

In particular, Magnus (1958) has showily used small rotating striped drums to stimulte nuptial chases in males of butterfly silver-washed fritillary, Argynnis paphia. Ishizawa (2005) has used striped cylinders and discs (6-18 cm in diameter) to study hovering flight in golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii.

In fish, small moving and rotating stimuli are used to study small field motion vision (Gehres & Neumeyer, 2007; Stojcev et al., 2011).

In conrast to responses to large field moving stimuli, responses to small field moving stimuli are dependent on the physiological state of animals and modified by their experience (Protasov, 1978). For example, fish learned to eat food of the certaine color will prefer small moving objects of the same or similar colors (due to the so called generalization).

These examples together with other numerous findings, accumultated in experimental ethology for decades, show that the same simple visual stimuli may induce different behavioural responses in fish and other animals. It means that each of these stimuli is not an imitation of some concrete object. To reflect this irrefutable fact, stimuli of this kind are named non-simulative, or amimetic. At this rate, the capability of amimetic stimuli to induce different behavioural responses, depending on the context, must be grounded on the common mechanisms of visual perception, common for all visually guided animals.

Basic References

Baerends G.P. 1957. Behaviour: the ethological analysis of fish behaviour. In: The physiology of fishes (ed. M.E.Brown). Vol.II, p.229-269, Academic Press Inc., New York

Darkov A.A. 1980. Ecological features of visual signalization in fishes. Nauka, Moscow

Gehres M.M., Neumeyer C. 2007. Small field motion detection in goldfish is red-green color blind and mediated by the M-cone type. Visual Neuroscience 24, 399-407

Ishizawa N. 2005. The response to ratating objects by Anotogaster sieboldii (Selys) males, Pt.2 (Anisoptera, Cordulegastridae). Odonatologica 34, 211-218

Kohda Y., Watanabe M. 1986. Preference for vertical-striped backgrounds by the oyanirami Coreoperca kawamebari, a freshwater serranid. Ethology 72, 185-190

Kohda Y., Watanabe M. 1988. Preference for striped backgrounds by striped fishes. Zoological Science 5, 501-503

Magnus D. 1958. Experimentelle Untersuchungen zur Bionomie und Ethologie des Kaisermantels Argynnis paphia L. (Lep. Nymph.): I. Über optische Auslöser von Anfliegereaktionen und ihre Bedeutung für das Sichfinden der Geschlechter. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 15, 397-426

Meunier B., Yavno S., Ahmed S. & Corkum L.D. 2009. First documentation of spawning and nest guarding in the laboratory by the invasive fish, the round goby (Noegobius melanostomus). Journal of Great. Lakes Research 35, 608-612

Protasov V.R. 1978. Fish behaviour. The mechanisms of fish orientation and their use in fishing. Food Industry, Moscow

Schaerer S., Neumeyer C. 1996. Motion detection in goldfish investigated with the optomotor response is "color blind”. Vision Research 36, 4025–4034

Shaw E., Sachs B.D. 1967. Development of the optomotor response in the schooling fish, Menidia menidia. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 63, 385-388

Stojcev M., Radtke N., D'Amaro D., Dyer A.G., Neumeyer C. 2011. General principles in motion vision: Color blindness of object motion depends on pattern velocity in honeybee and goldfish. Visual Neuroscience 28, 361-370

Category: Ethology | Views: 1767 | Added by: nickyurchenko | Tags: striped background, non-simulative stimuli, fish behaviour, generalization, amimetic stimuli, optpmotor behaviour | Rating: 0.0/0





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