The Effects of Different Types of Intruders on the Level and Characteristics of Territorial Defence Response of Domesticated Male Siamese Fighting Fish


  • Mullica JAROENSUTASINEE School of Science, Walailak University, Thasala, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80161
  • Krisanadej JAROENSUTASINEE School of Science, Walailak University, Thasala, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80161


Aggressive behaviour, Betta splendens, Egg guarding, Siamese fighting fish, Territorial defence


This study investigated the effects of types of intruders on the level and types of male aggressive acts at different stages of the egg guarding period in domesticated fighting fish (Betta splendens). The degree of aggressiveness was measured at two reproductive phases in response to three types of intruders: male, female and female that had laid eggs. The nest-holding males displayed the same level of aggressiveness towards intruders before and after the hatching of eggs. Male intruders elicited the highest number of aggressive acts followed by female, and mated female intruders. The highest incidence of gill cover erection, biting, and tail beating by nest-holding males was directed towards male intruders whilst female and mated female intruders were subject to lower and lowest incidence of these aggressive acts respectively. However, female intruders were attacked and chased most frequently and mated female intruders comparatively less frequently whereas male intruders were least subject to these types of aggression.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Parker GA. Assessment strategy and the evolution of animal conflicts. J Theor Biol 1974; 47: 223-43.

Anderson M Wiklund CG Rundgren H. Parental defence of offspring: a model and an example. Anim Behav 1980; 28: 536-42.

Leimar O Enquist M. Effects of asymmetries in owner-intruder conflicts. J Theor Biol 1984; 111: 475-91.

Riechert SE. Game theory and animal contests. In: Dugatkin LA Reeve HK (eds). Game Theory & Animal Behaviour. Oxford University Press, New York, 1998, p. 64-93.

Pressley PH. Parental effort and the evolution of nest-guarding tactics in the threespine stickleback. Gasterosteus aculeatus L. Evolution 1981; 35: 282-95.

Iersel JJA van. An analysis of the parental behaviour of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). Behaviour Suppl 1953; 3: 1-159.

Ridgway MS. Development stage of offspring and brood defense in smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomeiui). Can J Zoo 1988; 66: 1722-8.

Ridgway MS. The parental response to brood size manipulation in smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomeiui). Ethology 1989; 80: 47-54.

Coleman RM Gross MR Sargent RC. Parental investment decision rules: a test in bluegill sunfish. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 1985; 18: 59-66.

Lavery RJ Keenleyside MHA. Parental investment of a biparental cichlid fish, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum, in relation to brood size and past investment. Anim Behav 1990; 40: 1128-37.

Torricelli P Lugli M Gandolfi G. A quantitative analysis of the fanning activity in the male Padogobius martensii (Pisces: Gobiidae). Behaviour 1985; 92: 288-301.

Magnhagen C Vestergaard K. Brood size and offspring age affect risk-taking and aggression in nest-guarding common gobies. Behaviour 1993; 125: 233-43.

LindstrÖm K WennstrÖm C. Expected future reproductive success and parental behaviour in the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus (Pisces, Gobiidae). J Fish Biol 1994; 44: 469-77.

Jaroensutasinee M Jaroensutasinee K. Type of intruder and reproductive phase influence male territorial defence in wild-caught Siamese fighting fish. Behav Process 2003; 64: 23-9.

Townshend TJ Wootton RJ. Adjusting parental investment to changing environmental conditions: the effect of food ration on parental behaviour of the convict cichlid, Cichlasoma panamense. Anim Behav 1985; 33: 494-501.

Smith C Wootton RJ. The costs of parental care in teleost fishes. Rev Fish Biol Fisher 1995; 5: 7-22.

Smith C Wootton RJ. Parental energy expenditure of the male three-spined stickleback. J Fish Biol 1999; 54: 1132-6.

Clutton-Brock TH. The Evolution of Parental Care. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. 1991. p. 368.

Gordon M Axelrod HR. Siamese Fighting Fish. TFH Publications Inc, New Jersey. 1968, p. 64.

Forselius S. Studies of Anabantid fishes. Zool Bidrag fran Uppsala 1957; 32: 95-597.

Jaroensutasinee M Jaroensutasinee K. Bubble nest habitat characteristics of wildcaught Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. J Fish Biol 2001a; 58:1311-9.

Jaroensutasinee M Jaroensutasinee K. Sexual size dimorphism and male contest in wild Siamese fighting fish. J Fish Biol 2001b; 59: 1614-21.

Clayton FL Hinde RA. The habituation and recovery of aggressive display in Betta splendens. Behaviour 1968; 30: 96-106.

Simpson MJA. The display of the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. Anim Behav Monogr 1968; 1: 1-73.

Kodric-Brown A. Dietary carotenoids and male mating success in the guppy: An environmental component to female choice. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 1989; 25: 393-401.

Yamamoto ME Chellappa S Cacho MSRF Huntingford FA. Mate guarding in an Amazonian cichlid, Pterophyllum scalare. J Fish Biol 1999; 55: 888-91.

Walter B Trillmich F. Female aggression and male peace keeping in a cichlid fish harem: conflict between and within the sexes in Lamprologus ocellatus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 1994; 34: 105-12.

Robertson CM Sale PF. Sexual discrimination in the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens Regan). Behaviour 1975; 54: 1-25.

Doulrelant C McGregor PK Oliveira RF. The effect of an audience on intrasexual communication in male Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. Behav Ecol 2001; 12: 283-6.




How to Cite

JAROENSUTASINEE, M., & JAROENSUTASINEE, K. (2011). The Effects of Different Types of Intruders on the Level and Characteristics of Territorial Defence Response of Domesticated Male Siamese Fighting Fish. Walailak Journal of Science and Technology (WJST), 1(1), 80–90. Retrieved from



Research Article

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>