Male Display Behavior in Siamese Fighting Fish - Essay Example

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Research paper
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Researchers have interest on the behavior of Siamese fighting fish because of its unique character. The Siamese fighting fish is known as Betta Splendens. Three specific characters are unique for the Siamese fighting fish. For example, the Siamese fighting fish has unique spawning, is aggressive, and provides a parental care for the young ones. The aggressive nature of the Siamese fighting fish is evident during reproduction. The male fish has unique duties in their habitats during the time for reproduction. For example, during reproduction, the male fish protect the brood, court female, build a bubble nest, and protect the territory through the display of an aggressive behavior (Tate et al.2017).

The Siamese fighting fish has different reproduction phases, which defines the tactics they use to protect the territories from the intruders into their habitats. For example, the common reproductive phases for the Siamese fighting fish include hatching, after spawning, before, and after the construction of bubble nest (Lehtonen et al2015). During nest holding, the Siamese fighting fish display various behaviors. For example, the male display either the fin spreading or gill flaring during the nest holding and when responding to the intruders in their territories. The instinct of the male fish changes and the response towards intruders vary from time to time. For example, it is natural for the male fish to act more aggressive in the presence of other male fish than in the intrusions of the female fish.

The different stages of reproduction in the Siamese fighting fish define their response to the stimuli in the environment. Investigations into the life of the male Siamese fighting fish reveal the consistency of their responses to the stimuli respect to the stages of reproduction and the sources of the stimuli in the environment. The common stimuli in the Siamese fighting fish habitats include the intrusions of the male fish, female fish and during the contest in their environment. Besides, the changes in the salinity of the oceans waters send an instinct to the Siamese fighting fish to exhibit a specific behavior in their environment. It is the tradition of the Siamese fighting fish to respond towards male and female intruders through Gill flaring in various stages of reproduction. After spawning, during hatching, and before and after nest construction, the Siamese fighting fish responds to intruders by flaring the gill. However, the male fish changes the tactics of defending their territories after a continuous attack of their territories by the intruders.

The example, the Siamese fighting fish prefers the most cost-effective way of fighting during the subsequent attack in their habitat. Often, the male fish are responsible for the defense of their territories and their actions are dictated by the instinct and the amount of attack in the environment. For example, during the acute attack in the fish environment, the male fish response to the attack through gills flaring mechanism. However, the chronic attack in the fish environment provokes a chronic response. For example, when the attack from the intruders is severe, the male changes the tactics to fin spreading to preserve the energy for the untold contest.

The difference in Aggression towards male and female fish

The behavior of the male Siamese fighting fish is complex during the reproduction stage. The life of male fish during the reproduction stage is complex and interesting because the Siamese fighting fish has to make complex decisions. First, at the reproduction stage, the response of the Siamese fighting fish towards female fish and towards male fish differs (Earley, & Hsu.2013). For example, during the defense of the territory, the male fish are against other males but attract the female fish to allow spawning. The Siamese fighting fish is against the male fish when they approach their territories when the phase for reproductions has started. However, the instinct for the female fish approaching the territories for the male fish is attractive because it is time for spawning. Studies show that the sex of the intruder triggers a specific behavior and determines the intensity of the aggression. The aggressive behavior among the male fish varies unlike the aggressive behavior in the female fish. It is natural for the male fish to defend the territory from the outsiders and to protect the female fish during spawning.

The male Siamese fighting fish view the intrusion of the female in their territories as less harmful. The nest-holding period is a crucial moment for the Male and views the male intruders as a great threat to their territories as compared to the female fish intruders. In the bubble nest phase of fish reproduction, the male fish are less aggressive towards the female fish. The aggression of male fish towards female is low because they want to attract them to deposit their eggs. In the company of male fish, the male Siamese fighting fish are aggressive to scare away the possible intrusion into the fish territory. Offer the time, studies show that the male fish are less aggressive with the female fish audiences (Gowaty, 2015). It is a common habit for the male fish to display a courtship character in the presence of female fish and reduce the amount of aggression in the environment (Brownell, 2014).

The behavior of the Male fish in the environment varies with their reproductive phases. The presence of the fry and eggs in the nest trigger high intensity of aggression in male fish. The increased aggression in fish during the different phases of reproduction is clear in the parental investment theory. The parental investment theory holds that the previous parental investment affects how an individual protect the young ones and the nest. The motivation to protect the young one and the territories depending on the previous experiences. The gill flaring behaviors of cost the fish a lot of energy and is often the initial display during the attack on the territory (Forsatkar et al.2017). However, fin spreading cost the fish little energy and is always an appropriate display after a subsequent attack in the fish environment.

The male and female fish depicts a similar level of aggression when a specific intruder confronts. The Siamese fighting fish has a unique form of social interactions and contest in their environment. During the male-female and male-male, interactions the most common display include gill flaring and fin spreading (Dzieweczynski, & Leopard, 2010). The Siamese fighting fish is a unique species with the capacity to vary their behavior in different time. The duration of fin display and gill flaring determines the fighting capacities of the fish species. The fighting skills of the Siamese depict their behavior during aggression. For example, during aggression the Siamese fighting fish displays behaviors such as gill flaring, charging, and biting. So far, no study has proven the variation in the behavior display of the fish across all the species.

The conflict among the Siamese fighting fish cost a lot of energy (Brownell 2014). As a result, when the fish engage in aggressive behavior, there is a change in the level of metabolic energy. For example, during aggression, the oxygen requirement in the body of the fish is high because of the high rates of metabolism and physical activity. Most Siamese fighting fish experiencing a high level of aggression has the ability to cause physical harm (Meliska et al.1980). Ideally, from the energetic perspective, gill flaring cost more energy as opposed to fin spreading. When the Siamese fish are fighting, there is a reduction in respiratory gas exchange and the body demand more energy to utilize during the fight (Benelli et al.2015). In the same way, during a contest, the level of aggression in fish is high because the body of the fish needs to coordinate the entire component required during the aggression. The Siamese fighting fish understand how to gauge the intensity of risk involved during an intrusion into the environment (Doutrelant et al. 2001). As a result, when there is a high level of risk form the intruder, the Siamese fighting fish shift to energetically costly display to stop the aggression from the enemy.

The Siamese fighting fish changes the color during an intensive level of aggression in the environment. For example, during courtship, the Siamese fighting fish are bright (Kotiaho, 2001). The instinct of the male fish is strong during the courtship because of the preparation for the reproduction. During courtship, the Siamese fighting fish has a high level of aggression towards male fish intruders (Johnson, & Johnson, 1973). However, the males fish take the responsibilities of building a bubble nest, gathers fertilized eggs, and takes them to the nest. It is the responsibility of the male to tend the eggs until the right time for hatching.

Naturally, the males fish are larger and stronger than the female fish. Some of the reasons for the large sizes of the male and female fish are because male fish compete with other male fish for mates and defend the territory (Brownell, 2014). There is also a high frequency of male-to-male combat and therefore the need for energy to fight and to defend the territories. Often, male fish that are large are more likely to win the fights and attract a large number of females (Evans, 1985). Large fish have a high tendency to court and fertilize the eggs because they win many battles against their male counterparts. The female fish are choosy and prefer the male that is large, strong and with fins that are in good health (Loranger 2015). The females prefer the female with traits because they believe they can provide enough security in the territory.

The length of time of risk exposure determines how the fish shift their aggression in the environment. The nature of the interactions and the sex of the fish in the environment determine the tactics that the fish uses during the aggressions (Hsu et al.2006). Often, the aggression between male-male fish intruder is high as compared to the aggression towards the female fish intruder. Some of male fish swift the behavior display after the 30s of their interactions depending on the physical strength of the fish in question. It cost a lot of energy for the fish to display gill flaring for a long time hence the change in the behavior display after a specific behavior display. The gill flaring and fin spreading differs from one reproductive phase to another (Kniel et al.2016). It is observable that male with bubble nest has higher chances of attracting more female fish.

The bubble nest is a requirement for the male during the choice for their mates. The role of the bubble nest is for reproduction because it helps protect the eggs during the process of the male reproduction. For this reason, the male fish are engaged in female courting during the bubble nest phase (Claudio 1995). During courting, the male fish have a reduced aggression towards the female. However, as the reproductive status of the fish changes, there is a reduced propensity for the male aggression in the environment.

In conclusion, Siamese fighting fish is a unique species of fish that display different character in different time. The male Siamese fighting has to duty to protect the territories, courting, and protecting the fertilized eggs until hatching. The different phase of reproduction determines the level of aggression for the fish. For example, during courting the male fish are less aggressive toward female fish but more aggressive towards the male. The female fish choose the male fish that are strong, able to build the bubble nest and with strong fins. The gill flaring cost the fish a lot of energy and compared to the fin spreading. As a r...

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