Social experience in early ontogeny has lasting effects on social skills in cooperatively breeding cichlids

The early social environment can affect the social behaviour of animals throughout life. We tested whether the presence of adults during early development influences the social behaviour of juveniles later on in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. In a split-brood design we raised half of the broods together with parents and with or without […]

Behavioural type, status and social context affect behaviour and resource allocation in cooperatively breeding cichlids

Individuals often show consistent differences in behavioural traits that may belong to a behavioural syndrome. Aggressive propensity is usually an important component of consistent behavioural types, potentially generating benefits in resource competition with conspecifics that may be traded off against costs in other contexts (e.g. acquisition of mates or coexistence with group members). Such trade-offs […]

Effects of isotocin on social responses in a cooperatively breeding fish

Oxytocin and its nonmammalian homologues play an important role in modulating a diverse array of social behaviours. Recently, it has been suggested that one of the key functions of oxytocin is to direct attention towards socially relevant stimuli, increase social motivation and guide social decision making. Here, we test whether an exogenous increase in isotocin […]

Network structure is related to social conflict in a cooperatively breeding fish

The nature of individual social interactions can have a profound influence on group structure and function. Here, we use social network analysis to examine patterns of dominance interactions and spatial associations in 14 captive social groups of the cooperatively breeding cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher. In this cichlid, social groups are composed of a dominant breeding pair […]

Variation in glucocorticoid levels in relation to direct and third-party interactions in a social cichlid fish

In complex animal societies, direct interactions between group members can influence the behavior and glucocorticoid levels of individuals involved. Recently, it has become apparent that third-party group members can influence dyadic interactions, and vice versa. Thus, glucocorticoid levels may vary depending on interactions of other members of the social group. Using the social cichlid fish […]