Behavioral response to familiar and unfamiliar neighbors in a territorial cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher
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Some territorial species have been shown to react more aggressively toward unfamiliar conspecifics than established neighbors, a behavior referred to as the “dear enemy” phenomenon. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine whether males of a territorial African cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, can discriminate between size-matched familiar and unfamiliar male neighbors and whether they respond more aggressively toward unfamiliar males. It was found that males spent significantly more time near the territorial boundary that they shared with unfamiliar neighbors and directed significantly more aggressive behavior toward these individuals.
Key wordsDear enemy Individual recognition Neolamprologus pulcher Territory defense Agonistic behavior
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