Progress Update #1

Progress Update #1



Upon coming into the greenhouse, the team discovered that Male Betta #1 had died since yesterday’s feeding. He will be removed from the experiment but not replaced. The four remaining males will be used for data collection.

Previously the female that had been obtained had also died and was replaced over the weekend. The new female is still alive.

“Replacement female elephant ear betta fish” by H. Schofield (CC by 2.0)

The self-trials with the male betta fish began today. For the beginning of the experiment, Betta #2 remained at the surface of the experimental tank. It took about five minutes of being within the tank to encounter the mirror. We lowered the water levels so that he was forced to stay within sight of the mirror. After several interactions with the mirror, the actual trial began. For five minutes the number of tail flicking and gill flaring were counted. Other interesting behaviors of Male #2 were his attempts to swim behind the mirror. The group discussed getting a larger mirror that would cover the entire side of the tank so that there was a higher likelihood of the fish viewing itself in the mirror.  Male #3 attempted to bite the mirror aggressively many times and we also saw him spread his tail quite frequently to display to his reflection. Male #4 was not very interactive with the mirror. He remained on the other side of the tank and only occasionally approached and interacted with the reflection. Male #4 is the smallest male and he is mostly white. Male #5 did not interact with the mirror at all. We believe this is due to heat exhaustion from being housed in the greenhouse. We have moved all fish into a cooler room to prevent further death in the specimen and to hopefully increase activity levels in the fish.

Today’s Data Collection: 

Male #2:  

  • Trial 1:
    • 46 gill flares
    • 23 tail flicks
  • Trial 2:
    • 50 gill flares
    • 10 tail flicks

Male #3:

  • Trial 1:
    • 31 gill flares
    • 5 tail flicks

Male #4:

  • Trial 1:
    • 14 gill flares
    • 5 tail flicks

Male #5

  • no interaction with the mirror was observed in the five-minute trial.

Further data collection and progress updates will follow. 


Photo by me

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