Meeting Abstract

P2.35  Thursday, Jan. 5  What types of contest interaction modify a contestant’s behavior in a subsequent fight? KUO, J*; HSU, Y; National Taiwan Normal University; National Taiwan Normal University

A contest can be viewed as a process for two contestants to assess each other’s fighting ability (FA). At any stage of a contest, the weaker opponent may decide that it has gathered enough information to confirm its inferior FA, and retreat. After a contest is resolved, the winner/loser may raise/lower its evaluation of its FA relative to those of others in the population and adjust its behavior in future contests accordingly. This results in a higher/lower chance of winning in future (winner /loser effects). Interactions of different intensities probably provide more or less accurate information: lower intensity interactions demand lower energy/ability and reveal less informative about FA than higher intensity interactions. We may then expect different intensity interactions to have different impacts on contestants’ future contest decisions (more intense interaction==>more accurate information==>more obvious behavioral change). We test this hypothesis by allowing focal individuals to have either non-physical (NPI) or physical (PI) interaction with either a much stronger or a much weaker trainer, using a mangrove killifish (Kryptolebias marmoratus). The results so far show that only the fish subjected to the PI treatment display changes in contest behavior: (1) individuals that interacted with a stronger trainer were less likely to initiate attacks or win and persisted for less time in a subsequent contest, and (2) individuals that interacted with a weaker trainer were more likely to escalate a contest than those that interacted with a stronger trainer. These results suggest that the information acquired from non-physical interaction is not sufficient to modify an individual’s decisions in a subsequent fight.