First insight into personality traits in Northern pike (Esox lucius) larvae: a basis for behavioural studies of early life stages

Type Article
Date 2015-12
Language English
Author(s) Pasquet Alain1, Sebastian Anthony1, Begout Marie-LaureORCID2, Ledore Yannick1, Teletchea Fabrice1, Fontaine Pascal1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Lorraine, CNRS, UR AFPA, USC INRA 340, F-54506 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.
2 : IFREMER, F-17137 La Rochelle, Lhoumeau, France.
Source Environmental Biology Of Fishes (0378-1909) (Springer), 2015-12 , Vol. 99 , N. 1 , P. 105-115
DOI 10.1007/s10641-015-0459-4
WOS© Times Cited 6
Keyword(s) Behavioural tests, Activity, Exploration, Boldness/shyness continuum, Freshwater species
Abstract Personality traits have been studied for some decades in fish species. Yet, most often, studies focused on juveniles or adults. Thus, very few studies tried to demonstrate that traits could also be found in fish larvae. In this study, we aimed at identifying personality traits in Northern pike (Exos lucius) larvae. Twenty first-feeding larvae aged 21 days post hatch (16.1 +/− 0.4 mm in total length, mean +/− SD) were used to establish personality traits with two tests: a maze and a novel object. These tests are generally used for evaluating the activity and exploration of specimens as well as their activity and boldness, respectively. The same Northern pike twenty larvae were challenged in the two tests. Their performances were measured by their activity, their exploratory behaviour and the time spent in the different arms of the maze or near the novel object. Then, we used principal component analysis (PCA) and a hierarchical ascendant classification (HAC) for analysis of each data set separately. Finally, we used PCA reduction for the maze test data to analyse the relationship between a synthetic behavioural index (PCA1) and morphometric variables. Within each test, larvae could be divided in two sub groups, which exhibited different behavioural traits, qualified as bold (n = 7 for the maze test and n = 13 for the novel object test) or shy (n = 9 for the maze test and n = 11 for the novel object test). Nevertheless, in both tests, there was a continuum of boldness/shyness. Besides, some larvae were classified differently between the two tests but 40 % of the larvae showed cross context consistency and could be qualified as bold and/or proactive individuals. This study showed that it is possible to identify personality traits of very young fish larvae of a freshwater fish species.
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Pasquet Alain, Sebastian Anthony, Begout Marie-Laure, Ledore Yannick, Teletchea Fabrice, Fontaine Pascal (2015). First insight into personality traits in Northern pike (Esox lucius) larvae: a basis for behavioural studies of early life stages. Environmental Biology Of Fishes, 99(1), 105-115. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :