On the Intraspecies Agonistic Behavior of Betta Splendens

Topics: Siamese fighting fish, Fishkeeping, Gourami Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: April 29, 2008
In investigating the agonistic behavior of the Siamese fighting fish, properly known as Betta splendens, we observed male to male B. splendens agonistic behavior, male to female behavior, and we observed the male’s agonistic behavior towards his own reflection. Our hypothesis entailed that the male B.Splendens would exhibit prolonged aggressive behavior towards other males, including flaring of gills and broadside displays. Male to female behavior would be more docile and submissive in nature. We also predicted that self-recognition would be non-existent in that our subject B. splendens would exhibit aggressive behavior towards his reflection. As hypothesized, our subject B. splendens displayed aggressive behavior when confronted with a male of the same species, not ending its gill flaring towards the male in any of our three trials. Broadside displays also occurred for approximately thirty seconds in each of our ninety second trials accompanied by rapid swimming. Male to female behavior proved more docile, with broadside displays occurring but no flaring of the gills or the rapid swimming characteristic of the aggressive behavior towards the male. The subject also exhibited the same aggressive behavior towards his own reflection as towards the live male of the species. Future work will possibly entail the observation B. splendens agonistic directed towards a dead B. splendens and/or a dead B. splendens. Introduction

The Siamese fighting fish is native to the tropical waters of Southeast Asia Malay, Thailand, Kampuchea, and Southern Vietnam. They dwell in rice paddies, shallow ponds, and slow moving streams, and are renowned for the ability to surface and gulp the air from above water in these relatively, fetid oxygen-poor environments. Most experienced aquarium hobbyists know that only one male B. splendens may be kept in an aquarium at a time as they exhibit extremely aggressive behavior toward males of their own species (thought they exhibit more...
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