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Behavioural individuality assessed from two strains of cloned fish

Iguchi, K., Matsubara, N. and Hakoyama, H.

Individualistic behavioural traits have long been overlooked, dismissed as either noise or maladaptive deviation to atypical situations. We investigated individual variation in two strains of cloned red-spotted cherry salmon, Oncorhynchus masou macrostomus, in a series of experiments under laboratory conditions. Using principal component analysis, we found that their basic responses such as distance moved, space used and foraging mode grouped along five major dimensions; individuals could be discriminated from each other reliably and showed clear behavioural individuality. Interrelationships between behaviour patterns that differed between the two clonal strains suggested the potential for a genetic basis to behavioural individuality. One or two of the behaviour patterns explained intraclonal variation in individual growth histories. We conclude that behavioural individuality can have an adaptive significance.

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