Shoaling behaviour of sticklebacks infected with the microsporidian parasite, Glugea anomala
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We compared the shoaling behaviour of three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, infected with the microsporidian, Glugea anomala, to that of non-infected conspecifics. Infected fish lost significantly more weight than non-infected fish during a period of food deprivation, suggesting a metabolic cost to parasitism. In binary shoal choice tests, non-infected test fish showed an association preference for a shoal of non-infected over a shoal of infected conspecifics; infected test fish displayed no preference. Infected fish, however, showed a higher overall tendency to shoal than non-parasitised fish. Furthermore, infected fish occupied front positions within a mixed school. We consider the behavioural differences between infected and uninfected fish in the context of their potential benefits to the fish hosts and the parasites.
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- Shoaling behaviour of sticklebacks infected with the microsporidian parasite, Glugea anomala
Environmental Biology of Fishes
Volume 72, Issue 2 , pp 155-160
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- 1. University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, Leeds, U.K.
- 3. Department of Biology, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH, U.K.
- 2. Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Aberystwyth, SY23 3DA, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, U.K.