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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 seulementFrom parasitism to mutualism: partner control in asymmetric interactions(2002)
;Johnstone, RufusIntraspecific cooperation and interspecific mutualism often feature a marked asymmetry in the scope for exploitation. Cooperation may nevertheless persist despite one-sided opportunities for cheating, provided that the partner vulnerable to exploitation has sufficient control over the duration of interaction. Here we develop a simple, game theoretical model of this form of partner control. We show that as a victim's ability to terminate an encounter increases, selection can favour reduced exploitation, resulting in a switch from parasitism to mutualism. For a given level of control, exploitation is likely to be less intense and the interaction to last longer when there are greater mutualistic benefits to be gained, and when the benefits of cheating are lower relative to the costs inflicted on the victim. Observations of interactions between cleaner-fish and non-predatory species of client are shown to match these predictions.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementEvolution of spite through indirect reciprocity(2004)
;Johnstone, RufusHow can cooperation persist in the face of a temptation to 'cheat'? Several recent papers have suggested that the answer may lie in indirect reciprocity. Altruistic individuals may benefit by eliciting altruism from observers, rather than (as in direct reciprocity) from the recipient of the aid they provide. Here, we point out that indirect reciprocity need not always favour cooperation; by contrast, it may support spiteful behaviour, which is costly for the both actor and recipient. Existing theory suggests spite is unlikely to persist, but we demonstrate that it may do so when spiteful individuals are less likely to incur aggression from observers (a negative form of indirect reciprocity).
- 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 seulementInterspecific communicative and coordinated hunting between groupers and giant moray eels in the Red Sea(2006)
; ;Hohner, Andrea ;Ait-El-Djoudi, KarimFricke, HansIntraspecific group hunting has received considerable attention because of the close links between cooperative behaviour and its cognitive demands. Accordingly, comparisons between species have focused on behaviours that can potentially distinguish between the different levels of cognitive complexity involved, such as "intentional" communication between partners in order to initiate a joint hunt, the adoption of different roles during a joint hunt (whether consistently or alternately), and the level of food sharing following a successful hunt. Here we report field observations from the Red Sea on the highly coordinated and communicative interspecific hunting between the grouper, Plectropomus pessuliferus, and the giant moray eel, Gymnothorax javanicus. We provide evidence of the following: (1) associations are nonrandom, (2) groupers signal to moray eels in order to initiate joint searching and recruit moray eels to prey hiding places, (3) signalling is dependent on grouper hunger level, and (4) both partners benefit from the association. The benefits of joint hunting appear to be due to complementary hunting skills, reflecting the evolved strategies of each species, rather than individual role specialisation during joint hunts. In addition, the partner species that catches a prey item swallows it whole immediately, making aggressive monopolisation of a carcass impossible. We propose that the potential for monopolisation of carcasses by one partner species represents the main constraint on the evolution of interspecific cooperative hunting for most potentially suitable predator combinations.