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Data from: The importance of population heterogeneities in detecting social learning as the foundation of animal cultural transmission

Citation

Nöbel, Sabine et al. (2022), Data from: The importance of population heterogeneities in detecting social learning as the foundation of animal cultural transmission, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.g79cnp5s0

Abstract

High levels of within-population behavioural variation can have drastic demographic consequences, thus changing the evolutionary fate of populations. A major source of within-population heterogeneity is personality. Nonetheless, it is still relatively rarely accounted for in social learning studies that constitute the most basic process of cultural transmission. Here, we perform in female mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) a social learning experiment in the context of mate choice, a situation called mate copying, and for which there is strong evidence that it can lead to the emergence of persistent traditions of preferring a given male phenotype. When accounting for the global tendency of females to prefer lager males but ignoring differences in personality we detected no evidence for mate copying. However, when accounting for the bold-shy dichotomy, we found that bold females did not show any evidence for mate copying, while shy females showed significant amounts of mate copying. This illustrates how the presence of variation in personality can hamper our capacity to detect mate copying. We conclude that mate copying may be more widespread than we thought because many studies ignored the presence of within-population heterogeneities.

Methods

The dataset contains size and time measures collected in behavioural experiments with the Eastern mosquitofish. 

Funding

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-10-LABX-41

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR11-IDEX-0002-02

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-13-BSV7-0007-01

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-17-EUR-0010

Marie Curie PRESTIGE grant, Award: PRESTIGE-2014-1-0005

China Scholarship Council, Award: 201206620006