Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 61, Issue 9, pp 1383–1390 | Cite as

Onsets of schooling behavior and social transmission in chub mackerel Scomber japonicus

  • Shinnosuke Nakayama
  • Reiji Masuda
  • Masaru Tanaka
Original Paper


Grouping behavior has various types of antipredator functions. Some of these functions require social transmission of information, such as the many-eyes effect, whereas others do not, such as the dilution and confusion effects. Functions of grouping behavior would enhance with social transmission among group members. We investigated and compared the onsets of schooling behavior and social transmission of information in chub mackerel Scomber japonicus. Onset of schooling behavior was observed in rearing tanks by calculating the degree of parallel swimming. Onset of social transmission was examined by using visual cues from conspecifics. A group of five individuals was put in each of three experimental chambers from which they could see a group of conspecifics in the neighboring chamber. A weak electric stimulus was given to one of these chambers, and information transfer among individuals was observed. We found that social transmission by visual cues started on 30 days posthatching (25.1 mm in standard length), which was 2 weeks after the onset of schooling behavior. The late onset of social transmission relative to schooling behavior might be attributed to different predation pressure with development, or by underdevelopment of optic tectum, as the volume of the optic tectum did not increase just after the onset of schooling behavior.


Grouping behavior Information transfer Optic tecta Visual cue 



We sincerely thank Dr. M. Takahashi in National Research Institute of Fisheries Science for helping fish husbandry and A. Kobayashi in Kyoto University for teaching the microtome technique. We also thank Dr. L. A. Fuiman and Dr. A. F. Ojanguren of the University of Texas, Marine Science Institute for giving helpful comments and suggestions during the preparation of the manuscript. This experiment was conducted in compliance with current laws in Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinnosuke Nakayama
    • 1
    • 3
  • Reiji Masuda
    • 2
  • Masaru Tanaka
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Field Science Research and Education CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Marine Science, Marine Science InstituteUniversity of Texas at AustinPort AransasUSA

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