Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception

Soares, Marta C., Cardoso, Sonia C., Grutter, Alexandra S., Oliveira, Rui F. and Bshary, Redouan (2014) Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception. Hormones and Behavior, 66 2: 346-350. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.06.010

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Author Soares, Marta C.
Cardoso, Sonia C.
Grutter, Alexandra S.
Oliveira, Rui F.
Bshary, Redouan
Title Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception
Journal name Hormones and Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1095-6867
Publication date 2014-07
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.06.010
Open Access Status
Volume 66
Issue 2
Start page 346
End page 350
Total pages 5
Place of publication Maryland Heights MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recent empirical research, mostly done on humans, recognizes that individuals' physiological state affects levels of cooperation. An individual's internal state may affect the payoffs of behavioural alternatives, which in turn could influence the decision to either cooperate or to defect. However, little is known about the physiology underlying condition dependent cooperation. Here, we demonstrate that shifts in cortisol levels affect levels of cooperation in wild cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus. These cleaners cooperate by removing ectoparasites from visiting 'client' reef fishes but prefer to eat client mucus, which constitutes cheating. We exogenously administrated one of three different compounds to adults, that is, (a) cortisol, (b) glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone RU486 or (c) sham (saline), and observed their cleaning behaviour during the following 45. min. The effects of cortisol match an earlier observational study that first described the existence of "cheating" cleaners: such cleaners provide small clients with more tactile stimulation with their pectoral and pelvic fins, a behaviour that attracts larger clients that are then bitten to obtain mucus. Blocking glucocorticoid receptors led to more tactile stimulation to large clients. As energy demands and associated cortisol concentration level shifts affect cleaner wrasse behavioural patterns, cortisol potentially offers a general mechanism for condition dependent cooperation in vertebrates.
Keyword Glucocorticoids
Cleaner fish
Cooperative levels
Tactical deception
Labroides dimidiatus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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