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Keywords:

  • captive rearing;
  • feeding schedule;
  • fisheries management;
  • shy–bold

Individual zebrafish Danio rerio were assayed for exploratory tendency in a serial open field test before and after being maintained on one of four diet treatments that differed in ration and in predictability of food delivery. Danio rerio became more exploratory after being maintained on a diet with a predictable delivery schedule. There was no effect of ration. Thus, exploratory behaviour is inducible by environmental influences independent of genetic predisposition or social interactions. These results have implications for management of correlated behavioural syndromes of exploratory and boldness of animals reared in captivity for later release into wild populations.