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Examining the link between personality and laterality in a feral guppy Poecilia reticulata population


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This study examined whether variation in the strength and direction of lateralization in a detour task was linked with variation in three common personality measurements: boldness, activity and sociability, in a population of wild guppies Poecilia reticulata. Additionally, the aim was to determine whether any consistent correlations between these behavioural traits, known as behavioural syndromes, were present in the study population. The results revealed that all three personality traits were highly repeatable over time in both sexes. Evidence of a complex syndrome in the form of a correlation between boldness, sociability and activity was found; however, this relationship was only present in males. Males that were more active in a familiar environment emerged more quickly from shelter into a novel environment and were more social. In general, male P. reticulata were bold, active and antisocial compared to females, with these differences probably a reflection of opposing life-history strategies. Only a weak link between the strength of cerebral lateralisation and personality was discovered and this was mediated by sex.

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