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The development of tactile social interactions in Corydoras aeneus larvae

Riley, Riva J.; Roe, Thomas P.; Gillie, Elizabeth R.; Manica, Andrea


Riva J. Riley

Thomas P. Roe

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Beth Gillie
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Andrea Manica


Many social animals acquire social behaviours during development, and social experience during development can be vital for acquiring necessary social behaviours in adulthood. We investigated the development of a distinctive tactile interaction behaviour in Bronze Cory catfish, in which adults interact with one another tactilely during foraging and during group responses to threats. We found that larvae respond to applied tactile stimulation with a flight response significantly less often as larvae matured. This habituation to tactile stimulation is consistent with developing appropriate adult social behaviour. We also found that social exposure affects the larval response to tactile interactions with conspecifics, and that isolation in early life leads to a greater likelihood of responding to tactile interactions with conspecifics with a flight response. This suggests that social exposure is important for developing social tactile interaction behaviour and underscores the particular importance of early experience in social development.


Riley, R. J., Roe, T. P., Gillie, E. R., & Manica, A. (2020). The development of tactile social interactions in Corydoras aeneus larvae. Behaviour, 157(6), 515–539.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 16, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 11, 2020
Publication Date Jun 30, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2021
Journal Behaviour
Print ISSN 0005-7959
Electronic ISSN 1568-539X
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Volume 157
Issue 6
Pages 515–539
Keywords development; ontogeny; sociality; tactile interactions; social isolation; Corydoras
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