Self-feeding behaviour and personality traits in tilapia: a comparative study between Oreochromis niloticus and Sarotherodon melanotheron

Type Article
Date 2017-02
Language English
Author(s) Benhaim David1, 2, Akian Dieudonne3, 4, Ramos Mathieu5, Ferrari Sebastien1, 2, Yao Kouakou4, Begout Marie-LaureORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, LUSAC, F-50100 Cherbourg, France.
2 : Intechmer, Conservatoire Natl Arts & Metiers, F-50103 Cherbourg, France.
3 : INP HB, Dept FOREN, Yamoussoukro, Cote Ivoire.
4 : UNA, UFR SN, Lab Biol & Cytol Anim, Abidjan, Cote Ivoire.
5 : IFREMER, Lab Ressources Halieut, Pl Gaby Coll, F-17137 Lhoumeau, France.
Source Applied Animal Behaviour Science (0168-1591) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2017-02 , Vol. 187 , P. 85-92
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.12.004
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) Boldness, Personality, Self-feeder, Individual specialization, Social structure
Abstract Hybridization aims at combining valuable traits from two species into a single group. Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (NT) and Black-chinned tilapia Sarotherodon melanotheron (BCT) are respectively characterized by fast growth and water salinity tolerance which attract the breeders who could take advantage of both species. The first step is to characterize both species behavior in different contexts. The aim of this study was to compare the self-feeding behaviour between NT and BCT with a design allowing to reveal individual and group feed demand behaviour and then to identify the individual specialization that builds around the device and the food dispenser. The second objective was to estimate the links between the individual specialization and personality traits. To this aim, we recorded feed demand behaviour of both species using a computerized self-feeding device (two tanks for each species containing 20 PIT-tagged individuals with a male-female ratio of about 47%). Personality traits of all individuals were subsequently characterized with an open field test (OFT). The links between feed-demand and personality were then analyzed. Growth performances were not significantly different between NT and BCT but there was a strong tank effect. The individual specialization was similar in NT and BCT and similar to that previously observed in sea bass i.e. 1–3 individuals responsible for most of the feed demand activity in the tanks. Most NT individuals stayed in the shelter during the open field test while most of BCT individuals moved out of it. Overall, NT were shyer than BCT or the OFT was not adapted to NT. Linking the results of the self-feeding experiment and OFT in BCT, we found a strong positive correlation between the triggering activity and females’ shyness. Fish that spent more time inside than outside the shelter and which latency to emerge from shelter was longer, were characterized by a higher triggering activity (high-triggering fish). This study confirms the NT ability to use self-feeder devices and provides the first insight into the same ability in BCT and demonstrates links with personality traits. These results have a potential interest for the success of BCT and NT hybridization.
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Benhaim David, Akian Dieudonne, Ramos Mathieu, Ferrari Sebastien, Yao Kouakou, Begout Marie-Laure (2017). Self-feeding behaviour and personality traits in tilapia: a comparative study between Oreochromis niloticus and Sarotherodon melanotheron. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 187, 85-92. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :