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- PublicationMétadonnées seulementThe meaning of jolts by fish clients of cleaning gobiesCooperative interactions offer the inherent possibility of cheating by each of the interacting partners. A key challenge to behavioural observers is to recognize these conflicts, and find means to measure reliably cheating in natural interactions. Cleanerfish Labroides dimidiatus cheat by taking scales and mucus from their fish clients and such dishonest cleaning has been previously recognized in the form of whole-body jolts by clients in response to cleaner mouth contact. In this study, we test whether jolts may be a general client response to cheating by cleaners. We experimentally varied the ectoparasite loads of yellowtail damselfish (Microspathodon chrysurus), a common client of the cleaning goby Elacantinus evelynae, and compared the rates of jolts on parasitized and deparasitized clients. As predicted if jolts represent cleaner cheating, deparasitized clients jolted more often than parasitized clients, and overall jolt rates increased over time as client parasite load was presumably reduced by cleaning activity. Yellowtail damselfish in the wild jolted significantly less frequently than those in captivity, which is consistent with a loss of ectoparasites during capture. Our results suggest that jolts by clients of cleaning gobies are not related to the removal of ectoparasites. Client jolts may therefore be a generally accurate measure of cheating by cleanerfish.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementFish cognition: a primate's eye view(2002)
; ;Wickler, WolfgangFricke, HansWe provide selected examples from the fish literature of phenomena found in fish that are currently being examined in discussions of cognitive abilities and evolution of neocortex size in primates. In the context of social intelligence, we looked at living in individualised groups and corresponding social strategies, social learning and tradition, and co-operative hunting. Regarding environmental intelligence, we searched for examples concerning special foraging skills, tool use, cognitive maps, memory, anti-predator behaviour, and the manipulation of the environment. Most phenomena of interest for primatologists are found in fish as well. We therefore conclude that more detailed studies on decision rules and mechanisms are necessary to test for differences between the cognitive abilities of primates and other taxa. Cognitive research can benefit from future fish studies in three ways: first, as fish are highly variable in their ecology, they can be used to determine the specific ecological factors that select for the evolution of specific cognitive abilities. Second, for the same reason they can be used to investigate the link between cognitive abilities and the enlargement of specific brain areas. Third, decision rules used by fish could be used as 'null-hypotheses' for primatologists looking at how monkeys might make their decisions. Finally, we propose a variety of fish species that we think are most promising as study objects.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementDoes competition for clients increase service quality in cleaning gobies?In a biological market, members of one trading class try to outbid each other to gain access to the most valuable partners. Competition within class can thus force individuals to trade goods or services more cheaply, ultimately resulting in conflict (e.g. cheating) over the value of commodities. Cleaning symbioses among fish appear to be good examples of biological markets. However, the existence and effect of outbidding competition among either types of traders (cleaners or clients) have never been tested. We examined whether increasing competition among cleaning gobies (Elacatinus spp.) for access to clients results in outbidding in the form of provision of a better cleaning service. On reefs where fish clients visited cleaning stations less frequently, and thus competition among cleaners was higher, cleaning gobies ingested fewer scales relative to the number of ingested parasites, i.e. they cleaned more honestly. This shift in cleaner behaviour towards greater honesty is consistent with a greater market value of access to clients in the face of competition among cleaners. However, this pattern could have also arisen as a result of differences in ectoparasite availability across reefs and therefore in value of the commodity offered by clients. Experimental manipulations will be required to determine whether cleaning service quality by cleaning gobies was enhanced solely because of competitive outbidding.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementExperimental evidence that partner choice is a driving force in the payoff distribution among cooperators or mutualists: the cleaner fish case(2002)
;Grutter, AlexandraSupply and demand largely determine the price of goods on human markets. It has been proposed that in animals, similar forces influence the payoff distribution between trading partners in Sexual selection, intraspecific cooperation and interspecific mutualism. Here we present the first experimental evidence supporting biological market theory in it study on cleaner fish, Labroides dimidiatus. Cleaners interact with two classes of clients: choosy client species with access to several cleaners usually do not queue for service and do not return if ignored, while resident client species with access to only one cleaning station do queue or return. We used plexiglas plates with equal amounts of food to stimulate these behaviours of the two client classes. Cleaners soon inspected 'choosy' plates before 'resident' plates. This supports previous field observations that suggest that client species with access to several cleaners exert choice to receive better(immediate) service.