Feeding rank and dominance in Tilapia rendalli under defensible and indefensible patterns of food distribution

I D McCarthy, D J Gair, D F Houlihan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In four scatter-fed groups of Tilapia rendalli, the distribution of food between individuals was not significantly different from that expected if the food was shared uniformly between all the fish in the group for nine of the 12 radiographic assessments of feeding behaviour. Individual fish maintained the same feeding rank over time, indicating a stable feeding hierarchy, in only one of the four scatter feeding groups. In contrast, in four point source feeding groups, the distribution of food between individuals differed significantly from uniformity in 10 of the 12 radiographic assessments of feeding behaviour and stable feeding hierarchies were maintained over time in three of the four groups. Thus, scatter feeding promoted a more uniform distribution of food between individuals within the group and prevented the formation of feeding hierarchies. There was no significant correlation between individual feeding rank and dominance index in all four scatter feeding groups. In contrast, significant positive correlations were found between individual feeding rank and dominance index in all four point source feeding groups. The results of this study confirm that feeding rank can be used as a correlate of relative social status under defensible feeding conditions. (C) 1999 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-867
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume55
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • aggression
  • dominance
  • feeding behaviour
  • individual variability
  • radiography
  • Tilapia rendalli
  • FISH OREOCHROMIS-MOSSAMBICUS
  • JUVENILE CHUM SALMON
  • RAINBOW-TROUT
  • ONCORHYNCHUS-MYKISS
  • SALVELINUS-ALPINUS
  • ATLANTIC SALMON
  • ARCTIC-CHARR
  • CICHLID FISH
  • SOCIAL RANK
  • AGGRESSION

Cite this