Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Temporally-variable predation risk and fear retention in Trinidadian guppies

Citation

Crane, Adam; Feyten, Laurence; Ramnarine, Indar W.; Brown, Grant (2020), Data from: Temporally-variable predation risk and fear retention in Trinidadian guppies , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vhhmgqnqr

Abstract

Predation fear is a unifying theme across vertebrate taxa. Here, we explored how the frequency and duration of predation risk affects post-risk fear behaviour in Trinidadian guppies. We first exposed individuals to visual cues of potential predators for 3 days, either frequently (6×/day) or infrequently (1×/day). Each exposure lasted for either a relatively brief (5 min) or long (30 min) duration, whereas a control group consisted of no risk exposures. One day later, we quantified guppy behaviour. All background risk treatments induced a fear response toward a novel odour (i.e., neophobia), and individuals previously exposed to frequent bouts of brief risk showed elevated baseline fear. Although neophobic responses were initially similar across risk treatments (1 day later), retention of this response differed. After 8 days, only individuals previously exposed to brief bouts of risk (both frequent and infrequent) maintained neophobic responses, whereas their initially higher level of baseline fear remained elevated but was no longer significantly different from the control. These results increase our understanding of temporal factors that affect the intensity and retention of fear that persists following risk exposure, which may have applications across vertebrates in relation to problems with fearful phenotypes.