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Betta Aggression

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Bethany Richards

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of Betta Aggression

Ben Gulmon, Mary Kate Pugh & Bethany Richards
The Effects of Color & Audience on Betta Fish Aggression
Experimental Design
Randomly assigned fish treatments
Tank position
Recorded behaviors:
Gill flare
Tail beat
Body length opponent
Body length audience
Up against glass
Up for air
Research Questions
Does color of fish (blue or red) affect aggressive behavior display toward opponent?

Is there an audience effect?
Color & Audience Effect
Expected Results
Red fish aggressive displays > blue fish aggressive displays
Aggressive displays will vary with audience size:
5 female audience aggression > 1 female audience aggression
0 female audience aggression >> 1 & 5 female
How do our results relate to other work?
We did not observe an audience effect
Could not conclude presence of innate aggression due to red coloration
Future studies?
Test fish among various strains
Increase audience variability
Change the color of audience members
Increase opponent/subject potential interaction
Figure 1. The total number of gill flares each blue (A) and each red (B) Betta displayed toward the opponent for the duration of each scan for three separate trials. No significance was calculated between red (mean = 23.8) and blue (mean = 20.4) total gill flare count (t = 0.43, df = 40, p = 0.335)
Figure 2. The latency to the first gill flare toward the opponent for each blue (A) and each red (B) Betta fish for all three treatments. Red fish (mean = 3.8) displayed the first gill flare significantly sooner than blue fish (mean = 11.8) (t = -2.47, df = 33, p = 0.0094265).
Figure 3. The variance of aggression scores for each individual colored fish calculated from all three treatments. Red (mean = 83.2) were significantly more variant than blue (mean = 15.5) when all variance scores were compared (t = 1.88, df = 10, p = 0.0448).
Figure 4. The variance of aggression scores over the mean aggression score for each fish for all three treatments. Significance was not found between color and variance when controlled for mean (t = 1.02, df = 10, p = 0.166).
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No significant correlation between aggressive behavior and fish color or audience
Blue fish tended to be more consistent with other blue fish
Red fish tended to be more random in their observed behaviors
Specifically, does the presence of female Betta fish affect male aggressive behavior?
If audience has an effect, does the size of the audience have a variable effect?
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