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Keywords:

  • cortisol;
  • hormone level;
  • melatonin;
  • social stress;
  • tilapia

Abstract

Previous work exploring the interrelationships between sex steroids (e.g. androgens, testosterones and 11-ketotestosterones) and social behavior in teleosts suggest that mirror-elicited aggression in cichlid fish may not trigger a hormonal response. Using the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) to analyze immune responses as a result of social stress, we measured levels of cortisol and melatonin using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) assays. In this work, we demonstrated that cortisol concentrations are significantly lower yet the levels of melatonin remain unchanged in tilapia that are fighting their mirror image. Our results suggested that in tied fights, certain hormone levels remain unchanged (e.g. androgens) due to the lack of melatonin induction.