• behavioural syndromes;
  • fitness;
  • hatching date;
  • risk taking

Levels of boldness and the degree of aggressiveness were compared in juvenile three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus that had hatched early and late in the breeding season. The most striking result found in this study was that early hatched individuals were bolder when exploring a novel environment than were late-hatched individuals. No differences in levels of aggression between early and late hatchlings were found, but a relationship between boldness and aggressiveness was present regardless of hatching date. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of research on individual variation in behaviour and the development of behavioural syndromes.