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System Interaction of Dummy-Elicited Behavior in the Jewel Cichlid, Hemichromis Bimaculatus Gill

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The responses of male Hemichromis bimaculatus toward stationary dummies presented for time intervals of 15-60 minutes were studied. The following results were obtained: I) The fish responded to the dummies with many of the same activities shown during encounters with live conspecifics. 2) At low frequency or duration activities directed toward the dummy were often diverse but at relatively high levels certain activities dominated behavior during dummy presentation. The latter led to categorization of behavior into response types, biting-, quivering-, fluttering-, and finrest-dominated, which are negatively correlated with each other at high levels. 3) A male which previously responded to a dummy with a quivering-dominated response while unpaired switched to a biting-dominated response to the dummy when paired with a live female. 4) Certain activities, namely lateral display and tailbeating, occurred during both biting-dominated and quivering-dominated responses but gradually decreased during the course of an observation period. It was concluded that each response type reflects a dominance of corresponding tendencies or systems in the fish's behavior and that certain activities associated with these systems are mutually inhibitory. Furthermore, there is evidence suggesting that two of these systems (fluttering and finrest) comprise behavior that is usually regarded as a single system. Lateral display, tailbeating and quivering are considered in terms of interaction between systems.

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Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.


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