Biochemical costs of a three day long cohabitation in dominant and submissive male Betta splendens

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A 3 day long cohabitation in pairs of previously isolated adult male Betta splendens was studied. The first two mornings started with intense fighting, the frequency of which decreased during the day. The bursts of aggression noticed in the mornings were associated with a significant carbohydrate metabolism activation, while daytime activity resulted in a reduction of muscle proteins in the evenings. These changes were more pronounced in submissives than in dominants. The third day marked a shift in the behavior of the pairs: bursts of attack activity were not noticed, while the threatening display frequency increased. During this day a similar reduction in lipids was observed in dominants and submissives. While during the first 2 days the dominant position offered some metabolic advantage, this advantage disappeared during the third day when both members of the dyad seemed to do equally less well than their isolated counterparts. Combined with previous findings obtained in this series of experiments, the present results support the assumption that in this species the presence of one opponent is less well tolerated than the presence of four conspecifics. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-378
Number of pages10
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994



  • aggression
  • carbohydrates
  • fish
  • lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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