Male-female interactions and Mate association strategies in wild Zebrafish, Danio rerio

Ghoshal, Aditya (2020) Male-female interactions and Mate association strategies in wild Zebrafish, Danio rerio. PhD thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

[img] Text (PhD thesis of Aditya Ghoshal (13RS002))
13RS002.pdf - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (2MB)
Official URL:


This work is an exploration of the mating system of zebrafish. The two major themes covered are the dynamics of intersex interactions and how the association decisions of male zebrafish varied when groups of females were spatially clumped in ‘patches’ and the influence of various ecological factors on such decisions. A smaller chapter also explores two distinct aspects in spatial movement with regards to male-female interactions and mate choice. For the first part of the thesis where we explored male-female dynamics, we observed pairs of zebrafish across different time points during the day to understand the temporal pattern of the dyadic interactions. We found that dyadic interactions are temporally specific with mating-related behaviors showing a significant reduction in the afternoon session compared to the two early sessions of the day. Males and females overlap in their behavioral repertoire. Oviposition substrate influences male-female interactions with a sharp increase in quivering frequency in pairs with a substrate compared to the ones without it. We further expanded this work to investigate the interactions in a group. We tested the association decisions of male zebrafish to groups of females in a multichoice design. The males did not have any preference for a particular size of the groups. However, there was differential association once we superimposed a second ecological factor on these patches. We found that male zebrafish prefer vegetation-rich patches compared to vegetation-poor patches. We also found evidence of males using social information to make decisions regarding each patch when competing males are present along with females in the patches. Another separate study was conducted to understand the variation in spatial navigational abilities in male zebrafish and whether that influences mate-choice decisions by females. We found female zebrafish to prefer a better navigator over a poorer one. We hope that this work can be built upon to establish zebrafish as a model system in sexual selection studies—aided by the molecular tools available for this animal which can help us trace the genetic bases as well molecular pathway of various aspects of reproductive ecology.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Anuradha Bhat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Danio rerio; Mate Association Strategies; Male-female Interactions; Mating System; Wild Zebrafish
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2021 07:41
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 07:28

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item