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Data from: Familiarity mediates equitable social associations in guppies

Cite this dataset

Cattelan, Silvia; Lucon-Xiccato, Tyrone; Pilastro, Andrea; Griggio, Matteo (2018). Data from: Familiarity mediates equitable social associations in guppies [Dataset]. Dryad.


Several fish species are characterized by social systems in which individuals prefer to interact with specific group mates. However, there is no clear evidence that such associations are equitable, i.e. they are mutual between individuals. We addressed this issue in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a species in which social network analyses have evidenced non-random social associations between individuals. We measured the mutual preference in pairs of guppies that previously familiarized in groups of either two or six individuals. To estimate the equitability of social associations, we first tested the preference of one fish for a familiar stimulus fish over an unfamiliar stimulus fish, and then, we similarly tested the preference of the other fish. Irrespective of the group size experienced during familiarization (two or six individuals), we found a within-pair consistency in the preference for the familiar fish, indicating that guppies developed social associations that are mutual between individuals. In a further condition, we tested pairs of unfamiliar individuals to assess the role of familiarity in equitable social associations. We found that equitable social associations did not develop in absence of previous familiarization and were not based on spontaneous preferences or phenotypic assortment. Our results demonstrate that familiarity mediates the development of equitable social associations in guppies and suggest that this behavior may be more widespread than previously considered.

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