Kin recognition in rainbowfish (Melanotaenia eachamensis): sex, sibs and shoaling

Arnold, K. E. (2000) Kin recognition in rainbowfish (Melanotaenia eachamensis): sex, sibs and shoaling. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 48 5: 385-391. doi:10.1007/s002650000253

Author Arnold, K. E.
Title Kin recognition in rainbowfish (Melanotaenia eachamensis): sex, sibs and shoaling
Journal name Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0340-5443
Publication date 2000-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s002650000253
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 48
Issue 5
Start page 385
End page 391
Total pages 7
Place of publication Berlin
Publisher Springer Verlag
Language eng
Subject C1
270707 Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology
780105 Biological sciences
0502 Environmental Science and Management
0602 Ecology
Abstract Living with relatives can be beneficial to individuals via the evolution of kin-directed altruism, but this is tempered by the increased risk of inbreeding. Therefore, in social species, the ability to recognise relatives can be highly advantageous. This study focuses on kin discrimination in the Lake Eacham rainbowfish, Melanotaenia eachamensis, an endangered freshwater species from north-east Queensland, Australia. First, I examined kin recognition abilities when a combination of both chemical and visual recognition cues was available. When given a choice of shoaling with same-sex groups, females spent significantly longer with full-sibs rather than half-sibs, full-sibs rather than non-relatives and half-sibs rather than non-relatives. Males spent significantly longer shoaling with full-brothers versus half-brothers, but showed no other shoalmate preferences. Second, in the presence of only chemical cues, females did not discriminate among groups of different levels of relatedness, but males showed a non-significant tendency to associate with full-sibs rather than non-relatives. Male shoaling behaviour seemed to be more influenced by factors other than relatedness, e.g. intra-sexual competition. Finally, I found that the shoaling preferences of females changed when exposed to groups of males. Females preferred to associate with non-relatives rather than half-brothers and non-relatives rather than full-brothers. There was no significant difference in the time spent with half-brothers versus full-brothers. Taken together, my results suggest that females have very good kin recognition abilities. They prefer to shoal with female relatives but avoid male relatives, and so are able to balance the benefits of nepotism and the costs of incest.
Keyword Behavioral Sciences
Kin Recognition
Inbreeding Avoidance
Group Living
Juvenile Arctic Charr
Salvelinus-alpinus L
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 42 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 45 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 21:20:01 EST