Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Sex-specific differences in shoaling affect parasite transmission in guppies

Richards, Elizabeth Loys, van Oosterhout, Cock and Cable, Joanne 2010. Sex-specific differences in shoaling affect parasite transmission in guppies. PLoS ONE 5 (10) , e13285. 10.1371/journal.pone.0013285

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (319kB) | Preview


Background: Individuals have to trade-off the costs and benefits of group membership during shoaling behaviour. Shoaling can increase the risk of parasite transmission, but this cost has rarely been quantified experimentally. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are a model system for behavioural studies, and they are commonly infected by gyrodactylid parasites, notorious fish pathogens that are directly transmitted between guppy hosts. Methodology/Principal Findings:Parasite transmission in single sex shoals of male and female guppies were observed using an experimental infection of Gyrodactylus turnbulli. Parasite transmission was affected by sex-specific differences in host behaviour, and significantly more parasites were transmitted when fish had more frequent and more prolonged contact with each other. Females shoaled significantly more than males and had a four times higher risk to contract an infection. Conclusions/Significance: Intersexual differences in host behaviours such as shoaling are driven by differences in natural and sexual selection experienced by both sexes. Here we show that the potential benefits of an increased shoaling tendency are traded off against increased risks of contracting an infectious parasite in a group-living species.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: PLoS
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:45

Citation Data

Cited 24 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Cited 38 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics