Published: 04-10-2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/9hvyt29f83.3
Leah Desrochers,
Rebecca Branconi,
E Schlatter,
Brianne Dent,
Peter Buston


To assess the type of sensory cues required for clownfish individuals to engage in competitive growth [e.g., mechanosensory (pressure and/or touch), auditory, chemosensory, and/or visual] we use a suite of experiments, in which we size match individuals in an experimental design analogous to that of Reed et al. (2019) but selectively block different types of cues across different treatments. We test four main hypotheses regarding the sensory cues required for size-matched individuals to engage in competitive growth: 1) they must have mechanosensory (pressure and/or touch) cues; 2) they must have auditory cues; 3) they must have chemical cues; 4) they must have visual cues. At three weeks of age, each larval fish was measured for initial standard length (ISL) to within 0.1mm. This was completed by randomly separating one individual out of the juvenile housing, assigning them a random number ID, and averaging 3 measurements. The number ID remained throughout the experiment to track growth based on length. Then, three fish were size matched to within 0.5mm: two of these three fish were housed as a pair, and one fish was housed as a singleton. At the end of the trial period, a final standard length (FSL) was measured to within 0.1mm. Within pairs, each individual was assigned a rank (pair-rank-1, P1; pair-rank-2, P2; singleton, S) on the basis of their FSL, with the largest being P1. A series of mixed model analyses and post-hoc Tukey tests showed that mechanosensory (pressure and/or touch) cues are used to assess size and initiate competitive growth. All statistical analyses were conducted using JMP Pro 14.1.0.