Animal Behaviour Live: Annual Online Conference 2021 took place on 18-19 November 2021. Fully broadcasted online on YouTube, the conference aimed to inclusively bring together researchers in animal behaviour from all over the world. The conference gathered 1008 participants from 48 countries from 6 continents. On this archive page you can watch videos of talks and virtual posters and check the abstract book and programme of this 2-day event.

Download the booklet of the Animal Behaviour Live: Annual Online Conference 2021

Videos

Browse 35 videos of talks and virtual posters presented at the ABL:AOC 2021 conference.

Programme

Pr. Rebecca Kilner
Simpson’s question: How does behaviour influence evolution?
University of Cambridge, UK
Pr. Mariella Herberstein
Understanding animal behaviour - from single species studies to large trait databases
Macquarie University, Australia
Pr. Andrew Straw
Learning about real-world insect vision and navigation using virtual worlds
University of Freiburg, Germany
Pr. Ana Silva
Do sex hormones and hypothalamic neuropeptides matter for non-breeding territorial aggression? Tales from a South American electric fish
University of the Republic, Uruguay
Pr. Ofer Feinerman
Collective problem solving during ant cooperative transport
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Day 1, 18 Nov

Session 1

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Pr. Mariella Herberstein
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Danita Daniel
Purbayan Ghosh
Poster Session
Frigg Speelman
Daniela Römer
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the conference
Macquarie University, Australia Pr. Mariella Herberstein Understanding animal behaviour - from single species studies to large trait databases
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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India Danita Daniel A Long Way from Home: Behavioural Plasticity due to Prolonged Maintenance in Artificial Conditions on a Population of Wild Zebrafish An organism adapts to its native habitat using behavioural, physiological and morphological mechanisms, for it to not only survive, but thrive in specific environmental conditions. A change in environmental conditions can lead to change in some of these traits. Behavioural traits are usually considered more malleable by ecological and environmental changes over short periods of time. Behaviour is therefore more plastic than other traits when an organism is maintained in specific conditions. Using wild-caught zebrafish, our study observed behavioural plasticity in a population which was reared in a natural habitat, but maintained in artificial conditions for the rest of the lifetime of the population. We performed monthly repeated behavioural assays on individuals, over a 10-month period, studying personality traits such as boldness, exploration and aggression as well as cognitive traits such as decision making and solving of a spatial task. Our results revealed that the population showed behavioural changes when kept in laboratory conditions, and the extent of change increased with time spent in the artificial conditions. While all behaviours were not affected to the same extent, variation between individuals reduced for almost all traits. Behaviours like boldness and exploration were more affected than behaviours like aggression, with fish becoming bolder with time. Cognitive ability also improved with time, but declined again, indicating age-related effects. Our study provides essential information on effects of prolonged exposure to laboratory conditions on innate behaviours, especially when conditions are vastly different from the natural habitat of the organism. This is extremely important to understand, since several laboratory studies are performed on organisms collected from their native habitats kept under controlled artificial conditions, but do not account for behavioural impacts of these on wild populations, resulting in skewed results.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India Purbayan Ghosh More Leaders or Safer Relocation: Understanding leader recruitment in a tandem running ant during colony relocation Recruitment is a widespread behaviour throughout the animal kingdom. In insect colonies, recruitment can occur during foraging, colony defense, nest construction and entire colony relocation; thus different insect species use distinct recruitment mechanisms. One of such recruitment strategies is tandem running that some ant species employ during colony relocation. During tandem running, only the leaders possess information about the new nest’s location and quality and transport the nestmates by forming a tandem pair, making the leader recruitment process complicated. The exact mechanism of recruiting tandem leaders is still poorly understood. Previous studies have shown that tandem running ants recruit additional leaders to keep the relocation time unchanged if they need to relocate further. Here we investigated the leader recruitment process of a tandem running ant, Diacamma indicum, by keeping their relocation distance fixed and increasing single transport time. Since there is a direct link between increases in relocation time and increased mortality risk, we expected that as we increase the single tandem run time, relocation time will remain unchanged and more leaders will be recruited to the process of relocation and stay active for a longer time. Upon comparing relocation dynamics of control (un-manipulated colonies), manipulated control (every transport was held for 2s) and manipulated colonies (every transport was held for 60s) we found that D. indicum has sturdy leader recruitment process, which does not get affected due to increasing single transport time. Even though the individual behaviour of leaders gets affected as they become experienced, the overall work distribution remains unaffected. Contrary to our expectation, the colony chooses to spend additional time relocating and does not recruit additional leaders to relocate faster. To have a holistic picture of the evolution of recruitment strategies additional studies are needed to understand how different biotic and abiotic factors affect leader recruitment process.
Poster Session
University of Groningen, Netherlands Frigg Speelman The association between local and population adult sex ratio and dispersal behaviour in a cooperative breeder In cooperatively breeding species, sexually mature individuals often delay dispersal and become nonreproductive subordinates within a group to help dominant breeding pairs raise their offspring. To understand how cooperative breeding can evolve, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms driving dispersal behaviour. Adult sex ratio (ASR) variation can drive delayed dispersal through limited breeding vacancies for the abundant sex. Overall, cooperatively breeding species have a higher bias in ASR compared to non-cooperatively breeding species. However, to date there are no studies relating ASR with sex-specific dispersal behaviour within one species, on both level of local groups and the entire population. Using a 25-year dataset on the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis), we test the influence of population-wide and local ASR on dispersal likelihood for male and female yearlings separately. Given that females, but not males, that delay dispersal and remain on the natal territory gain substantial benefits through co-breeding, we predict that ASR affects dispersal decisions more for males than females. We show dispersal is associated with population ASR in males: they are more likely to delay dispersal when ASR is male-biased. Strikingly, male dispersal is not related to local ASR, but only affected by population ASR. In females, there is no effect of ASR on dispersal behaviour on both the population and local level. Our findings illustrate a complex association between demographic factors and the route to cooperative breeding, and a sex-difference in drivers of dispersal behaviour.
University of Würzburg, Germany Daniela Römer Rhythmicity of foraging activity in leaf-cutting ants: Influence of molecular and environmental factors South American leaf-cutting ants show changes in their foraging activity patterns throughout the day and year. Also, workers transition from in-nest tasks to out-of-nest foraging with age. Here, we tested, in the laboratory, how activity patterns differ with age and are affected by environmental factors (light and temperature). Further, we analyzed the influence of molecular processes, i.e., the expression of the foraging gene, linked to social behaviour in social insects. First, a colony of Acromyrmex lundii leaf-cutting ants could forage under simulated spring and summer conditions and activity patterns on the foraging trail were recorded. Some foragers were then collected and the alfor gene expression of their brains was analyzed using qPCR. Other foragers were placed in activity monitors and their solitary activity patterns recorded at constant temperatures of 25°C, either under a light/dark cycle or in complete darkness. We found that workers shift their daily foraging activity from daytime foraging in the spring to nighttime foraging in the summer, when daylight temperatures are high. However, all foragers, irrespective of season, showed similar activity patterns with a high peak during the day and no longer during the night in the monitors, when influence of high daylight temperatures was missing. The qPCR analysis did not reveal any differences in foraging gene expression with age or task. Light proved to be an important time cue for leaf-cutting ants to set their biological clock to a 24 h rhythm. However, unlike other ants such as Camponotus, leaf-cutting ants do not show entrained activity rhythms once climatic factors change. Rather, they seem to have a highly plastic foraging behavior, allowing them to rapidly adjust colony foraging patterns to best suited environmental conditions.
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Session 2

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Pr. Ofer Feinerman
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Ishani Mukherjee
Hanna Cholé
Poster Session
Julieta Sztarker
Darlan Gusso
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the session
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel Pr. Ofer Feinerman Collective problem solving during ant cooperative transport
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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India Ishani Mukherjee Deciphering drivers of mixed species shoals among wild zebrafish Mixed species groups are found across taxa and there are benefits and costs of forming such groups. Here, we investigate the drivers of mixed species shoaling in wild zebrafish. Shoals comprising zebrafish (Danio rerio), flying barbs (Esomus danricus) and whitespots (Aplocheilus panchax) were collected from a stagnant ditch at Haringhata (located in Nadia district, West Bengal, India). Two kinds of laboratory-based experiments were conducted on these shoals: 1) Experiments to measure feeding latency (in which single or mixed shoals comprising 5 individuals were given low or high amounts of food) and, 2) shoal choice experiments (in which zebrafish individuals were given a choice between two kinds of stimulus shoals). Experiments measuring feeding latencies (N=120 shoals) revealed that- (1) in low food treatments; zebrafish and flying barbs took significantly lesser time to feed than whitespot shoals; (2) in high food treatments, zebrafish took significantly more time to feed than whitespots; (3) Mixed shoals showed an intermediate feeding time (comparable whitespots shoals) and food was equally shared amongst species in such shoals. To compare metabolic rates among species, we measured the oxygen intake. Whitespots consumed significantly more oxygen than zebrafish. Therefore, despite inter-species differences in feeding latency and metabolism, food was equally shared amongst species. Two-choice tests for shoaling preferences (N=320 individuals) indicated that test zebrafish: (1) associate with mixed shoals significantly more in presence of a predator, (2) showed no preference between shoals differing in the abundance of conspecifics, and, (3) preferred to associate with familiar conspecifics over unfamiliar mixed and unfamiliar conspecific shoals. Thus, food apportionment, greater association to mixed shoals in presence of predator and familiarity are drivers of mixed shoaling in zebrafish. While this work investigates the factors underlining mixed shoaling in wild zebrafish, further behavioural studies would help understand inter-species interactions and shoal dynamics in mixed shoals.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Hanna Cholé Complex social regulation of body size and its effects on the organization of bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies Regulation of reproduction and division of labor among workers organize insect societies. In bumble bees, these processes are influenced by body size, which is determined during the larva stage. Body size is influenced by various factors, including the social environment experienced during development. Queen-destined larvae are larger and develop over a longer period compared to worker-destined larvae. The colony switch to the production of future-queen after the "competition phase", during which workers start to lay eggs and compete with the queen. We hypothesized that brood development is influenced by the specificities of the caregivers which interact with the brood during critical periods of the development. To address this hypothesis, we recorded developmental duration, ultimate body size, and caste fate, for brood tended by queens and workers varying in age, number, or physiology. We found a critical period during the first five days post hatching in which the larval developmental program is influenced by the presence of a queen or old workers. We did not find difference in the development of brood in presence of queens from colonies before or at the "competition phase". In follow-up experiments, we found that queens with no mandibular glands lost their ability to shorten larvae development and prevent them from developing into gynes. These findings do not support the hypothesis that the switch to gyne production is the outcome of a decline in queen inhibitory capacity. Larval growth after the critical period was influenced by the number of tending workers but not by the presence of a queen. These experiments reveal that brood development in B. terrestris is regulated by complex interactions between the queen and workers, and highlight the importance of the queen mandibular glands.
Poster Session
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina Julieta Sztarker Climbing the arthropod phylogenetic tree to find the optic flow processing centers in crabs. When an animal rotates a wide drift of the visual panorama occurs over its retina, termed optic flow. These images are stabilized by compensatory behaviors (driven by the movement of the eyes, heads or the whole body depending on the animal) collectively termed optomotor response (OR). It has long been known that, in the visual system of flies, the lobula plate is the center involved in optic flow analysis and in guiding OR. The visual neuropils of crustaceans and insects are similarly organized (three nested neuropils connected by 2 chiasmata) which led some authors to propose a close evolutionary relationship between the groups. Recently, a crustacean lobula plate was characterized by neuroanatomical techniques in the mud crab Neohelice granulata, sharing many canonical features with the dipteran neuropil. This leads to the question if a common role is also shared. In this series of experiments, we tackle that question by performing electrolytic lesions followed by behavioral testing. Result show that crabs with injured lobula plates largely failed to execute OR (or present a poor and unsynchronized response) in comparison to both control-lesioned (presenting a lesion of similar size but in another region of the optic neuropils) and non-lesioned animals. The lesion of the lobula plate cause a specific impairment in the OR, as proved by the fact that antipredatory responses to an approaching visual stimulus did not change between groups. These results present strong evidence about a conserved site for processing optic flow shared by crustacean and insects.
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Darlan Gusso Oxytetracycline induces anxiety-like behavior in adult zebrafish Since their discovery, antibiotics have been used for human health, but also for animal production. Oxytetracycline (OTC) is one of the broad-spectrum antibiotics widely used for the treatment of fish-farm infection. Considering that behavior is directly related to reproduction, individual fitness, and survival, it is important to evaluate the impact of antibiotics on the behavioral repertoire in fish. Robust tools have been developing around zebrafish. This animal model has gained space for presenting originality for translational studies as a hardy model. This work aims to identify the role of OTC in comprehensive behavioral parameters and whole-body cortisol levels using zebrafish. A total of 439 adults (7–8 months) zebrafish (strain AB) from our breeding colony were used in equal proportions (male/female). The Novel tank test (NTT), Social interaction (SI) and Cortisol was tested. Ethics Committee (8950/2018). The normality and distribution data were analyzed by Shapiro-Wilk. Normal data were evaluated by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) or two-way ANOVA followed by Tukey. Non-normal data were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis test following Dunn’s. OTC exposure at 10, 20, and 100 mg/L induces an anxiogenic-like phenotype in the NTT p < 0.0001. OTC exposure also changes the behavior of SI with a shoal of unknown zebrafish - characterized as a stimulus group p = 0.0042. Zebrafish exposed to OTC 10 mg/L remain a longer period in the stimulus zone than control group. Clonazepam 0.006 mg/L reversed anxiogenic-like behavior and the changes in SI induced by OTC p = 0.7971. We also demonstrated that cortisol levels were significantly decreased after exposure to OTC (10, 20, and 100 mg/L) p = 0.0029, which were not reversed by clonazepam p = 0.1733. These findings highlight the growing utility of zebrafish as a model to understand the impact of antibiotics on behavior and their underlying mechanisms.
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Session 3

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Nour-Eddine Kaikai
Ilias Chaibi
Poster Session
Andressa Radiske
Erika Marques Santana
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the session
Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco Nour-Eddine Kaikai Hippocampal neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment following chronic exposure to the pesticide metam sodium in adult mice Neuroinflammation is a significant pathological feature contributing to cognitive deficits that can arise from exposure to environmental toxicants such as pesticides. Metam sodium (MS) is one of the emergent pesticides largely used in the agriculture and public health sectors. In the present study, we verified whether exposure to this compound would affect cognitive performance, and induce neuroinflammation as an underlying mechanism. In this context, mice received chronic treatment with different doses of MS and were submitted to novel object recognition and step-through passive avoidance tests. Hippocampal regions from treated animals underwent an immunohistochemical evaluation of the expression of GFAP and Iba-1 as markers of astrocytes and microglia respectively. The main findings showed that chronic exposure to MS resulted in a decrease in the ratio of time spent beside the novel object and strep-through latency indicating alterations in recognition memory as well as short- and long-term memory respectively. Moreover, treated animals exhibited a significant rise in immunostaining of neuroinflammatory markers GFAP and Iba-1 in the dentate gyrus as well as in the CA1 and CA3 areas of the hippocampus. The present work demonstrates that MS diminished cognitive performance in tasks relying on hippocampal-dependent memory closely associated with high expression of neuroinflammatory markers.
Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco Ilias Chaibi GABA-A receptor signaling in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex modulates aggression and anxiety-related behaviors in socially isolated mice Dysfunctional modulation of brain circuits that regulate the emotional response to potentially threatening stimuli is associated to an inappropriate representation of the emotional salience. Reduced top-down control by cortical areas is assumed to underlie several behavioral abnormalities including aggression and anxiety related behaviors. Previous studies have identified disrupted GABA signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a possible mechanism underlying the top-down regulation of aggression and anxiety. Here, we investigated a role for GABA-A receptor in the ACC in the regulation of aggression and anxiety related behaviors in socially isolated mice. By using the resident intruder test and the elevated plus maze, we evaluated the effects of site directed injections of the GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol or the GABA-A receptor antagonist, bicuculline into the ACC on aggressive and anxiety behaviors. Data showed that hyper-aggressive behavior, the anxiety and avoidance behavior in socially isolated mice were increased by muscimol microinfusion into ACC, while the sociability was not affected. In contrast, hyper-aggressive behavior in socially isolated mice was inhibited following bicuculline microinfusion without affecting anxiety. Furthermore, microinfusion of bicuculline into ACC decreased avoidance intensity and significantly reinforced social behavior. Together, our results confirm a role for GABA-A receptor signaling in the ACC in the regulation of aggressive, social and anxiety related behaviors in socially isolated mice. Moreover, our data suggest that GABA-A receptor inhibition in ACC specifically regulated aggression and sociability.
Poster Session
Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil Andressa Radiske Hippocampal CaMKII activity is necessary for avoidance memory reconsolidation Reactivation during recall may destabilize consolidated memories, which must be restabilized through a process known as reconsolidation to persist. Therefore, it is thought that interventions aimed at disrupting memory reconsolidation may impede the recollection of distressing events and help post-traumatic stress disorder patients to manage anxiety and exacerbated avoidance behaviors. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a serine/threonine protein kinase involved in many neuronal signaling pathways and is thought to be an important mediator of hippocampus-dependent plasticity and memory formation. However, the role of CaMKII in memory reconsolidation has been little studied and its possible involvement in hippocampus-dependent avoidance-motivated fear memory reconsolidation is unknown. Using a combination of pharmacological, behavioral, and electrophysiological tools in adult male Wistar rats, we found that hippocampal CaMKII is necessary to preserve reactivated fear-motivated avoidance memory through reconsolidation but not to keep it stored when dormant. Our results also indicate that the amnesia caused by CaMKII inhibition during hippocampus-dependent avoidance memory reconsolidation is not due to impaired retrieval but to memory erasure.
University of São Paulo, Brazil Erika Marques Santana Does pre-maturation social experience affect female preference function in Teleogryllus commodus? Individuals can adjust their strategies as adults according to social cues experienced as juveniles. Mate choice is a strategy determined by individuals’ preference function, that results from preference (what individuals prefer) and preference strength (how much individuals prefer). Whether and how individuals' preference function is a socially cued plastic trait is a poorly explored question. We tested whether the acoustic environment experienced by juveniles determine their adult preference function using females of the Australian cricket Teleogryllus commodus, which are highly polyandrous and present socially cued plastic reproductive strategies. We reared juvenile females in two acoustic environments, one with male calls of different attractivity (MIX) and another with male calls of only high attractivity (HIGH). We then sequentially offered ten males to each adult female, and recorded traits of accepted and rejected males. We found little difference in the female preference function between the two groups, but no difference in females response to male attractivity between groups. The probability of mating decreases with the order of male presentation, but only for females reared in a variable quality environment. Since T. commodus females adjust their post-copulatory investment in response to their juvenile social environment and copulate frequently, they probably employ a bet-hedging as sexual selection strategy. If so, they exert weak pre-copulatory mate choice, copulate with several males and perform stronger post-copulatory mate choice, an established advantageous strategy presented by polyandrous females. Finally, between-female variation in preference was similar among the two groups, and similar to the variation in found male attractivity. This pattern has the potential to maintain high variation in male attractivity, the sexually selected trait.

Day 2, 19 Nov

Session 1

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Dianne Brunton
Christian Rutz
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Scarlett Howard
Poster Session
Pr. Andrew Straw
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the session
Massey University, New Zealand Dianne Brunton A conservation translocation aimed at maximising song diversity: the song diversity and song neighbourhoods of Tīeke (North Island Saddleback) two years on. The introduction of invasive mammalian predators to New Zealand has caused irreparable damage to its distinctive oscine passerines. North Island Saddleback, Tīeke (Philesturnus rufusater) are an endemic passerine that has well described cultural evolution of song dialects (Male Rhythmic Song, MRS). Tīeke are a conservation success with a well-documented translocation history. A recent conservation translocation was conducted with an emphasis on maximising population-level song culture diversity. This unique conservation translocation to Shakespear Park, involved the simultaneous release of birds from two culturally distinct source populations; Tāwharanui and Tiritiri Matangi. Our aims were to 1) test whether males with established territories share fewer MRS types with males whose territories are more physically distant, 2) determine whether assortative paring occurs between culturally distinct populations, and 3) compare the song dialects of first-generation males in relation to their contiguous neighbours. Birds shared fewer songs with one another as distances increased, however the trend ceased at the greatest distances apart. Assortative pairing did occur at Shakespear, but assortative pairing was not exclusive; genetic mixing between the two culturally distinct populations occurred rapidly after translocation. First-generation males did inherit ancestral song, but not a single tīeke learned both ancestral dialects present at Shakespear and territorial birds were instead found within distinct cultural neighbourhoods that had formed one-year post-translocation. Lastly, rapid innovation of MRS was identified at Shakespear, where many young males innovated their own MRS irrespective of their proximity to an adult social tutor. Our findings show that for tīeke, concerns that mixed source translocations could result in segregation of birds from different song cultures is unwarranted and indicates that MRS is not solely sufficient to act as a pre-mating barrier between tīeke of different cultures. Given the conservation translocation goal for Shakespear was to increase both cultural and genetic diversity, it was a success.
University of St Andrews, UK Christian Rutz The STRANGE framework for improving experimental designs, reporting standards and reproducibility in animal behaviour research Researchers studying animal behaviour are working hard to improve the reproducibility of their findings. Recent discussions in the community have revealed an opportunity to make significant progress. Most studies are susceptible to sampling biases, testing animal subjects that are not fully representative of the wider populations for which they seek to make inferences. Biased sample composition can significantly impact the interpretation of experimental outcomes, limit the generalisability of results, complicate comparisons between studies, and ultimately, hamper reproducibility. The STRANGE framework was developed to help animal behaviour researchers identify, mitigate and report sampling biases. The acronym STRANGE refers to test subjects’: Social background; Trappability and self-selection; Rearing history; Acclimation and habituation; Natural changes in responsiveness; Genetic make-up; and Experience. These factors are not in themselves problematic – in fact, they are often the focus of well-designed research projects, or are confounds that are explicitly controlled for. But concerns arise whenever samples of subjects are biased with regards to any of these seven factors and researchers do not account for this. The STRANGE framework is applicable across all animal taxa, covering experimental and observational research in both laboratory and field settings. It encourages an in-depth examination of the causes and consequences of sampling biases, provides guidance on how to improve experimental designs and reporting standards, and offers an intuitive training tool for raising awareness amongst the next generation of researchers. It complements the established ARRIVE reporting guidelines, by highlighting issues that uniquely apply to the study of animal behaviour and cognition, and promotes animal welfare, by strengthening two of the 3Rs principles – Reduction and Refinement. In conclusion, the STRANGE framework strives to make a useful contribution to improving how animal behaviour research is conducted, reported and interpreted, with the ultimate goal of enhancing reproducibility.
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Deakin University, Australia Scarlett Howard The impact of urbanisation on native bee behaviour Urbanisation is implicated as a major driver of the recently reported global insect declines. Bees are one of the most important and abundant pollinators across the globe, however they are predicted to have declined by as much as 25 % since the 1990s. While many studies have focused on the impact of landscape change on bee species richness, distribution, and reproduction, few studies have examined the impact on behavioural traits. Australia hosts approximately 2,000 native bee species, the majority of which are understudied for their behaviour. This deficit makes determining the behavioural impact of threats and stressors, such as landscape change, impossible to track and predict. Furthermore, some species may be better adapted to urban environments based on higher behavioural flexibility or increased learning capacity allowing them to adapt more easily to urban areas. Alternatively, bees living in urban areas may face cognitive deficits from increased stress. In the current study, we collected a range of native bee species from different urban gradients near a densely populated city (high-density city sites; suburban parks and greenspaces; State Parks). The 49 sites had varied levels of important urbanisation measures for bees including proportion of impervious surfaces, proportion of introduced flora, and distance from the city centre, among others. Bees from each environment were tested for their ability to learn a simple colour discrimination task using aversive conditioning. Native Halictidae bees had previously demonstrated an ability to learn this task successfully. We discuss how learning in native bees is impacted by their habitat and what this means for species survival in unfavourable environments. The results of this study will allow us to better predict which species can adapt to landscape change and which bee species may be at risk and thus in need of increased conservation efforts.
Poster Session
University of Freiburg, Germany Pr. Andrew Straw Learning about Real-World Insect Vision and Navigation using Virtual Worlds
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Session 2

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Pr. Rebecca Kilner
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Jia Zheng
Rachel Degrande
Poster Session
Haddad Souhila
Wahiba Sif-Eddine
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the session
University of Cambridge, UK Pr. Rebecca Kilner Simpson’s question: How does behaviour influence evolution?
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University of Groningen, Netherlands Jia Zheng Egg burial protects eggs being hurled out the wind-swayed nest in Chinese penduline tits Egg burial behavior, i.e. when breeders bury the eggs with a layer of nest material during the egg-laying stage, has been described in various egg-laying animals. Several functions of egg burial have been revealed in animals that exhibit different life histories and nest shapes. In a polygamous species Eurasian penduline tits (Remiz pendulinus), sexual conflict over care was considered as a driver of egg burial since females hide the eggs from males by covering the eggs so that the female can desert the clutch and leave parenting to the male. Here we investigated a con-generic species, the Chinese penduline tit (R. consobrinus), and focus on testing four hypothesised functions of egg-burying behavior using experimental manipulations in the wild. We found no support for egg burial (1) playing a role in sexual conflict resolution, as both males and females freely enter the nest during egg-laying and both parents appear to bury eggs; (2) preventing nest parasitism, as no egg rejection or clutch abandonment were observed by experimentally augmented clutches; (3) Our results are also not consistent with the warmth regulation hypothesis since the temperature difference between the naturally buried and experimentally unburied eggs did not affect hatching success. (4) However, experimental results are consistent with the protection against wind hypothesis. The burying layer efficiently prevented eggs from being blown out of wind-swayed nests. Our study highlights that ecological conditions could drive the evolution of specific parenting behavior, and suggests that a single behavior could evolve for different functions between close-related species.
Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l'Environnement, France Rachel Degrande If not here, then there: The domestic hen is capable of inference by exclusion in a food searching task Recent studies and the current awareness about animal welfare highlight the necessity to consider farm animal’s psychological needs, which depend closely on their cognitive capacities. Accordingly, cognitive ethology science works at exploring the range of farm animal cognitive capacities, i.e. how they perceive and understand their environment. The ability to infer by exclusion is a complex cognitive capacity as it requires reasoning about the consequence of what an individual does not see. The principle is that when presented with two objects A and B (here two tubes), the individual can see that the reward, here two mealworms, is not inside A and therefore infers the reward is inside B. In birds, inference by exclusion has been demonstrated in few species categorized as “intelligent birds” (corvids, parrots). We tested this capacity in the domestic hen. With thirteen hens trained, our results show that when hens can freely explore the two tubes (free-choice test), they have a significant tendency to walk towards the tube they can see inside, even if it does not contain the reward. But when individuals are tested in conditions in which they can visit only one of the two tubes (forced-choice test), we found that two thirds of the hens actually did reason by exclusion (significantly within 4 to 7 sessions of 9 trials). To our knowledge, this result is a first demonstration that the domestic hen is capable to infer by exclusion. Moreover, the study suggests that the hens’ selective use of exclusion reasoning might be driven by a threshold from which the risk to fail is worth the cognitive cost of the mental process. This encourages to deepen the research on logical reasoning capacities and their modalities of execution in the domestic hen.
Poster Session
University of Béjaïa, Algeria. Haddad Souhila Neurobehavioral deficits induced by chronic exposure to pesticides in adult male rat Pesticides are frequently used to increase agricultural yields and protect crops from pests that might destroy them, but in contrast these chemicals could be toxic for non-targeted organisms. The majority of health problems related to these man-made products are based on long-term exposure and chronic intoxication. The late effects of these pollutants are dangerous because they are difficult to identify, and the main pathologies suspected are fertility problems, various types of cancers and neurological disorders. Cypermethrin is a type II pyrethroid, it has a tendency to accumulate in adipose tissue, and it crosses the blood-brain barrier, which induces neurotoxicity and motor deficits. In this context, this study was designed to characterize cognitive and locomotor deficits in the rat model. An orally exposure to Cypermethrin (6.7 mg/kg/day) for 12 weeks was tested. After three month exposure, the rats' memory and learning ability were assessed using novel object recognition test, their depressive and anxiolytic behavior were assessed by forced swimming, elevated plus maze and open field tests. Our results revealed that chronic exposure to Cypermethrin induces cognitive impairment and motor dysfunction. These findings lead us to suggest that there is a dysfunction in the processing of information in the central nervous system.
Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco Wahiba Sif-Eddine Atomoxetine effects on ADHD symptoms in 6-OHDA neonatal lesioned mice. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by dysregulation of sensory processing and neurobiology of dopamine. It is frequently associated with comorbid diseases such as pain hypersensitivity. In previous study performed in our laboratory, we validated a mouse model obtained by neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection, to mimic ADHD symptoms, including pain hypersensitivity. Here, we investigated whether the established ADHD treatment, atomoxetine, alleviates these abnormalities. Separate cohorts of 6-OHDA mice were tested in the open field, the elevated plus maze, the novel object recognition and 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) after treatment with vehicle or atomoxetine (1, 3 or 10 mg/kg). Mice were also tested for mechanical and thermal sensitivity using von Frey filament and the hot plate, respectively. Atomoxetine reduced the hyperactivity and the impulsivity displayed by 6-OHDA mice at a dose of 3 and 10 mg/kg in the 5-CSRTT. Atomoxetine improved also the short-term memory in the novel object recognition test. However, atomoxetine had no effect on attention deficit, anxiety and nociception in lesioned mice. We next evaluate the impact of repeated exposure to Atomoxetine on the affective component of pain using modified protocol of conditioned place preference test (CPP). Our results showed that atomoxetine (10 mg/kg) attenuated the uncomfortable sensation of pain and induced a well-being feeling. Our findings showed that a high dose of atomoxetine would improve the pain threshold associated to with ADHD, particularly hyperactive–impulsive subtype.
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Session 3

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Time UTC+0 Speaker
Pr. Ana Silva
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Yohann Chemtob
Fabiana Fragoso
Poster Session
Dinesh Rao
Anuradha Batabyal
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Time UTC+0 Your local time in Institution Speaker Title
Introduction to the session
University of the Republic, Uruguay Pr. Ana Silva Do sex hormones and hypothalamic neuropeptides matter for non-breeding territorial aggression? Tales from a South American electric fish
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New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA Yohann Chemtob Long term consequences of repeated cycles of collective decision-making in social systems In group-living animals, social interactions can improve the outcome of collective decisions through the rapid propagation of information from “knowledgeable” individuals to naive ones. However, the amplification of erroneous information may lead to catastrophic consequences, for instance by leading to the selection of an inferior nest or a hazardous migration path. While most social systems have mechanisms to reduce error propagation, the risk is never null and the probability of catastrophic failure increases with the number of collective decision-making events (e.g., election cycles, nest selection, etc). Here, we model the long-term effects of social interactions and individual decision accuracy during repeated episodes of collective decision-making. We find that highly social populations experience larger size fluctuations, increasing the likelihood of catastrophic failure. Populations in which individuals rely less on social information, however, tend to be more stable over time regardless of their individuals' error rates. Our results suggest that social feedback in high-risk decisions leads to greater chances of catastrophic decline and even possible extinction.
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, USA Fabiana Fragoso Decision-making process and patch fidelity varies among three bee species navigating discontinuous landscapes Bees must make routing decisions when exploiting pollen and nectar resources. They also exhibit site constancy, preferentially visiting one location even when other resources are available. To what extent these foraging behaviors are shared across species remains unclear. Here we investigated the rules used by bumble bees, honey bees and leafcutting bees when navigating discontinuous landscapes, and whether they differed in their degree of patch fidelity. We ran different experiments using a design with four peripheral patches of alfalfa of two different sizes, located at two distinct distances from a center patch. First, we contrasted distinct probability models of bee movement which distinguished whether bees could estimate resources fully or only partially by using patch size and distance to the patch as clues. Bee transition data from the center patch to each of the four peripheral patches was recorded and the experiment dimensions were used to predict transition probabilities to each of the peripheral patches for each model. Although both bumble bees and leafcutting bees used distances and resources availability to select patches, bumble bees could estimate the total amount of resources available while leafcutting bees could only estimate partial resources. Honey bees rarely transitioned between experimental patches and, for that reason, we investigated whether bumble bees and honey bees differed in their degree of patch fidelity by conducting a mark-re-observation study. While the number of marked bees re-observed in any patch did not differ between bee species, honey bees exhibit greater patch fidelity than bumble bees, and the degree of patch fidelity varied with patch type. Comparing the foraging behavior of different species under the same spatial configuration can reveal important differences in their foraging strategies. Our results contribute to the development of a predictive framework for the study of bee movement and its impact on gene flow within agroecosystems.
Poster Session
Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico Dinesh Rao An insect's view of orb webs in different light environments When a flying insect is foraging, it may encounter orb webs strung along its path. These webs are often at the limit of perception from the perspective of insect eyes. However, the visibility of webs may change depending on the position of the sun in the sky and allow the insect to detect webs. In this experiment, we filmed hoverflies approaching the webs of Allocyclosa bifurca (Araneae: Araneidae) in three light conditions: when the sun was behind the web, in front of the web and above the web. We tracked the trajectories of the hoverflies as they approached the webs. Using a full spectrum digital camera, we carried out visual modelling simulations to depict the webs as seen by the hoverfly visual system. Our results suggest that hoverflies are capable of detecting webs only at a very close range, but their characteristic ability to control their flight ensures that they can avoid the webs in time. Our study emphasises the need for species-specific evaluation of insect-web encounters and the use of visual ecology techniques for understanding predator-prey interactions.
University of Calgary, Canada Anuradha Batabyal Risk in one is not risk in all: Lymnaea stagnalis from high and low background risk environments show differential decision making under multiple behavioural tests Predation is a major force that shapes prey phenotypes and species interactions in turn driving ecological communities. Prey responds to temporal variation in predation risk by either increasing or decreasing vigilance and balancing energy requirements under high or low risk scenarios. We test the ‘risk allocation model’ and the mechanism of sensory adaptation and decision making while responding to risk in the great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We maintained three risk treatment groups: no-risk, low-risk and high-risk for 4 weeks before testing them under multiple cognitive, behavioural and life history challenges involving a predatory stimulus. Under a configural learning paradigm where snails had to forego feeding when food was paired with predatory threat, we found the ‘high-risk’ group snails to not show learning. Similarly, under a social interaction trial snails from ‘high-risk’ group responded similarly under control and risk environment, whereas snails from ‘no-risk’ and ‘low risk’ groups reduced activity under threat. However, all groups responded similarly to operant conditioning training under predation threat that enhanced memory. Along with behavioural measures the egg morphology also showed significant variation across time in the ‘high-risk’ group compared to other groups suggesting a ‘bet-hedging’ strategy under variable risk. The decreased anti-predatory response of high-risk group in comparison to low-risk groups shows that snails provide support for the risk allocation model when there is an energy trade-off. The variation in response to predation threat under multiple circumstances provide us clear evidence of decision making rather than sensory adaptation as the mechanism involved in prey response. Our study combines multiple phenotypic responses to elucidate animal decision making under temporal variation in risk and highlights the importance of experience in shaping anti-predatory responses.

Programme of the virtual posters

Session 1

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#44 – Alexandra Sparks Sex-dependent effects of parental age on offspring fitness in a cooperatively breeding bird
#33 – Charlotte Regan Habitat choice as a product of social phenotype and social environment in great and blue tits
#21 – Euan Young How well do fitness proxies correlate with long-term genetic contributions?
#18 – Ozlem Gonulkirmaz Cancalar Time-sensing in the social bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
#14 – Paula Nieto Dynamic scale-dependent modulation of behavioral patterns induced by caloric or temporal feed restriction
#20 – Piero Amodio Little evidence that Eurasian jays protect their caches by responding to cues about a conspecific’s desire and visual perspective
#3 – Thomas Wagner Very rapid learning, long term memory, and within-nest information transfer in the invasive ant Linepithema humile
#29 – Wagner Chavez-Acuña Trade-off between calling and attending offspring: variation of call traits associated with parental care in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium talamancae (Centrolenidae)
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
University of Leeds, UK #44 – Alexandra Sparks Sex-dependent effects of parental age on offspring fitness in a cooperatively breeding bird Parental age can have considerable effects on offspring phenotypes and health. However, intergenerational effects may also have longer-term effects on offspring fitness. Few studies have investigated parental age effects on offspring fitness in natural populations while also testing for sex- and environment-specific effects. Further, longitudinal parental age effects may be masked by population-level processes such as the selective disappearance of poor quality individuals. Here, we used multi-generational data collected on individually marked Seychelles warblers to investigate the impact of maternal and paternal age on offspring lifespan and lifetime reproductive success. We found negative effects of maternal age on female offspring lifespan and lifetime reproductive success which was likely driven by within-mother effects. There was no difference in annual reproductive output of females born to older versus younger mothers, suggesting that the differences in offspring lifetime reproductive success are driven by offspring lifespan. In contrast, the lifetime reproductive success of male offspring increased with maternal age, but this was driven by between-mother effects. No within- or between-individual paternal age effects were found for female offspring, but fathers that reached old age produced male offspring with higher lifetime reproductive success. We did not find strong evidence for environment-dependent parental age effects. Our study provides evidence for parental age effects on the lifetime fitness of offspring and shows that such effects can be sex-dependent. These results add to the growing literature indicating the importance of intergenerational effects on long-term offspring performance and highlights that these effects can be an important driver of variation in longevity and fitness in the wild.
University of Oxford, UK #33 – Charlotte Regan Habitat choice as a product of social phenotype and social environment in great and blue tits Animals are expected to move non-randomly between habitats to maximise their fitness, and there is growing evidence that individuals may actively assess the match between their phenotype and their environment when making habitat choice decisions (so-called matching habitat choice). Habitat choice is an inherently social process, with individuals having to select habitats based on positive (e.g. social information transfer/reduced predation risk) and negative (competition/stress) effects that others can have on their fitness. However, little attention has been paid to the role that the social environment plays in habitat choice decisions, and to our knowledge, no studies have considered how the social environment may interact with an individual’s social preference, despite growing evidence that individuals vary consistently in their social phenotype. We implemented an experiment within the long-term individual-based study of great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) at Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to understand how birds integrate their social phenotype and social environment when choosing where to feed. We used programmable radio-frequency identification (RFID) feeders to (i) obtain information on social interactions and thereby estimate individual social phenotypes (weighted degree from social networks) and (ii) experimentally manipulate the local density experienced by birds of differing social phenotypes. By tracking feeder usage across eight sites, we estimated how the social environment and social phenotype predicted individual visits within and between feeder sites as well as feeding behaviour at individual sites. We found that both social environment and social phenotype play a role in determining feeder usage, and that in some cases, responses to the social environment depend on individual social phenotype. Our results shed light on the dependence of habitat choice behaviour on the social environment and between-individual differences in sociality and indicate that studies of matching habitat choice may benefit from looking beyond morphological traits.
University of Groningen, The Netherlands #21 – Euan Young How well do fitness proxies correlate with long-term genetic contributions? Quantifying fitness is vital to predicting how behavioural traits evolve under selective pressures. The fittest individuals should contribute the most genes to future populations (i.e., have high long-term genetic contributions), though this is generally impractical to measure. Instead, fitness proxies are used to estimate individual fitness, but we have little understanding to what extent fitness proxies correlate with long-term genetic contributions. Human genealogical datasets provide an opportunity to estimate the genetic contributions of individuals many generations later. Here, we used church records on births, deaths, and reproduction for 46456 individuals from a pedigreed population of humans from Switzerland to examine the correlation between long-term genetic contributions and three fitness proxies: lifetime reproductive success (LRS), lifetime reproductive success counting only offspring surviving to adulthood (LRSsa), and number of grandoffspring. We predicted that these fitness proxies would increasingly correlate with long-term genetic contributions due to quantity–quality trade-offs: LRSsa encapsulates not only the quantity of offspring but also survival quality; and number of grandoffspring encapsulates quantity of offspring and both survival and reproductive quality. We estimated expected genetic contributions to the population in 1991 for 730 individuals born before the 18th century (birth years, 1575-1699). Contrary to predictions, we found that both LRS and LRSsa showed similar correlations with long-term genetic contributions (r=0.54 and 0.55, respectively), perhaps indicating the stochastic nature of survival to adulthood in humans due to infectious disease. In line with predictions, the number of grandoffspring was a stronger correlate of long-term genetic contributions (r=0.72), indicating a potential trade-off between the quantity and quality of offspring in humans. Overall, our results indicate that (likely due to quantity–quality trade-offs) different fitness proxies have varying correlations to long-term genetic contributions and therefore the implications of using a particular fitness proxy should be carefully considered in the study of animal behaviour.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel #18 – Ozlem Gonulkirmaz Cancalar Time-sensing in the social bumblebee, Bombus terrestris Circadian clocks regulate many ecologically important behaviors in diverse animal species. In honey bees, the circadian clock influences complex behaviors supporting efficient foraging for resources and social organization. Clock-controlled time-memory allows foragers to precisely time flower visitation to periods of maximal pollen or nectar availability and reducing the high cost of arriving to a flower patch at the wrong time. It is not clear whether bees that forage over shorter distances and with a less sophisticated recruitment system than honey bees are also capable of similar clock regulated complex behaviors. To start addressing this question, we tested whether bumble bees, which live in smaller societies and forage over shorter distance, can associate a reward with time of day. We trained bumble bees to visit yellow or blue feeders providing highly rewarding sugar syrup solution during the morning or evening inside a flight cage. We marked the foragers with individual colored number tags and recorded their flights out of the hive and feeder visitation over a period of about two weeks. At the test day, we did not provide any reward and recorded all feeder visitation from sunrise to sunset. We repeated the experiment twice, each time with a different colony. We found significantly higher foraging activity during the time of the morning and evening training sessions compared to other times during the day. In addition, the bees preferred to visit the color for which they were trained during the morning or evening sessions with few mistakes. Our results support the hypothesis that bumble bees can associate the time of the day with a food reward and color. Thus, efficient time memory is not limited to species such as honey bees which evolved sophisticated social foraging over large distances.
National University of Córdoba, Argentina #14 – Paula Nieto Dynamic scale-dependent modulation of behavioral patterns induced by caloric or temporal feed restriction The temporal dynamics of behavior is complex because it reflects processes occurring at different temporal scales, susceptible to modulation by external factors. For example, locomotor activity in mammals presents circadian rhythms and other dynamics (i.e. other rhythms and long-range -“fractal”- auto-correlation), which in turn are differentially affected by external cues (i.e: feeding schedules). Identifying changes in such behavioral patterns is important to understand behavioral adaptation to the environment, yet there are no clear tools to characterize and quantify them. Herein, we analyze behavioral time series derived from mice exposed to different feeding paradigms (i.e: temporal or caloric restriction, TR or CR respectively). We evaluate the dynamic changes of feeding and wheel-running behavior throughout a 42-day experiment. Specifically, we applied a 5-step wavelet approach to detect and characterize behavioral rhythms and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) to assess changes in auto-correlation properties at smaller scales. We found that the feeding paradigm imposed to mice differentially modulates the acrophase and strength (power) of circadian rhythms in both running wheel and feed intake activity. TR and CR paradigms during daytime induce circadian rhythm weakness in feed intake, consistent with a transitional state in which the phase of these rhythms abruptly changes following the food onset. We detect ultradian rhythms in feed-intake and wheel running time series and their robustness depends on the behavior studied, feeding paradigm and individual differences. Long-range correlations were observed in the wheel-running, but not in feed-intake for scales <100min and the correlation properties were susceptible to be modulated by the feeding paradigm. We conclude that the feed paradigm affects the temporal dynamics of behavior over a broad range of temporal scale, highlighting the diversity of behavioral patterns beyond the circadian activity, building up the behavioral architecture that composes these complex systems.
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy and University of Cambridge, UK #20 – Piero Amodio Little evidence that Eurasian jays protect their caches by responding to cues about a conspecific’s desire and visual perspective Results from previous studies suggested that Eurasian jays can, similarly to other corvids, protect their caches by responding to cues about either the visual perspective or current desire of an observing conspecific. In this study, we tested whether they can – like humans – integrate two cues when both are available at the same time. To do so, we used the already established paradigms to manipulate an observing conspecific’s visual perspective and current desire at the same time. Across five experiments, which also include replications of previous work, we found little evidence that the jays’ caching behaviour changed in line with the visual perspective and current desire of the observer. Critically, there was little evidence that the jays integrated the two social cues, but also that they responded to one type of cue independently. Given that these results contrast with those reported in the original studies, they raise questions about the reliability of the previously reported effects and highlight several key issues affecting reliability in comparative cognition research.
University of Regensburg, Germany #3 – Thomas Wagner Very rapid learning, long term memory, and within-nest information transfer in the invasive ant Linepithema humile Linepithema humile are one of the most common invasive ants on earth, and cause extensive ecological and economic damage. Unfortunately, the eradication efforts often fail because bait consumption is often low. Driving preference and increasing bait consumption is therefore critical for successful control. This might be achieved by harnessing the ants’ learning ability, but very little is known about learning in this species. Here, we aim to fill this gap by systematically measuring associative learning. Ants were allowed to visit a flavoured sugar reward on a scented path (e.g. strawberry). On the next visit the ants experienced a flavoured quinine punishment via a differently-scented path (e.g. apple). Then, ants were presented a Y-maze, one arm offering the rewarded smell and one the punished smell. When both path and food were scented during training, ants showed a strong preference (84% correct decisions) for the rewarded odour. When the food was unflavoured but the path scented, ants still showed a strong association (72%). However, when the food was flavoured but the path unscented, ants showed only a weak preference for the rewarded odour (62%). Ants trained on flavoured food still had a strong memory after 48 hours, and fed ants could pass this information, via the food, to untrained ants (trained: 86%, untrained: 68%). Removing the flavour from the food, and only using path odour, prevented information transfer, but only slightly reduced the success rate of trained ants (trained: 74% & untrained: 30%). These experiments demonstrate that Linepithema humile can form strong and long-lasting associations between an odour and a food source, even given very limited training. Food sharing can allow naïve ants to learn food-associated odours, which then use this information when foraging. We propose that by harnessing this impressive learning ability, new cognition-based control attempts can be designed.
Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum, Argentina #29 – Wagner Chavez-Acuña Trade-off between calling and attending offspring: variation of call traits associated with parental care in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium talamancae (Centrolenidae) The production of sounds often provides long-distance information to receivers about one or more attributes of the signalers, which are typically males in frogs and toads. Vocalizations, or calls, may vary in relation to individuals and species, and their function is highly dependent on social context. In accordance with a hypothetical trade-off between calling and attending offspring, parental care may influence calling behavior as non-attending males could spend more time calling than males that attend egg clutches. Yet, little is known about the variation of acoustic traits associated with parental care across anuran amphibians that continue to vocalize while also caring for the egg clutches. In this scenario, understanding the association of parental care with call traits could be useful to better assess the predicted trade-off between the energy spent in producing calls and attending offspring. In this study we quantified the variation of temporal and spectral call traits in relation to parental care under natural field conditions in males of the glass frog Hyalinobatrachium talamancae . Specifically, we explored if the calls of males observed in egg-attendance activities differ from single individuals not displaying parental care in their call rate (n = 40), call duration (n = 28), and dominant frequency (n = 28), while also considering for potential confounding effects of air temperature on call traits. Our results demonstrate that adult males that actively engage in care activities modify their call rate, but not the dominant frequency or call duration, in relation to individuals not engaged in these activities. The findings of this study are expected to provide quantitative evidence of a true difference in acoustic parameters associated with paternal care and to increase our understanding on the evolution of bioacoustics and natural history aspects in anuran species with prolonged male-only care

Session 2

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#40 – Alice Goerger Effect of water turbidity on camouflage, sand digging and predation behaviour in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)
#38 – Annkathrin Sonntag Do bumblebees vary their flight altitude to return home?
#31 – Claire Perez Use of NetFACS to describe the repertoire of Barbary macaques' facial behaviour
#37 – Emilia Moreno Regulation of pollen and nectar foraging in honeybees: changes in gustatory perception, learning and memory in bees arriving or departing from food sources
#42 – James Gilbert How dependent bee larvae manage their nutrition
#6 – Laura Griffin Artificial selection of behavioural traits in human-wildlife feeding interactions
#46 – Rocío Lajad Foraging preferences in honeybees after experiencing adulterated pollen
#28 – Samara Danel Motivation predicts problem-solving performance in a wild sub-Antarctic bird with reversed sexual dimorphism
#43 – Sree Subha Ramaswamy Termites multiplex chemical cues spatiotemporally based on context
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
University of Caen Normandy, France #40 – Alice Goerger Effect of water turbidity on camouflage, sand digging and predation behaviour in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) In La Manche, turbidity changes seasonally and daily in seawater. As a consequence vision in marine species is limited. Some marine species like the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis (Mollusk Cephalopod) evolve in such turbid environment. Since previous work on camouflage were led in clear seawater, how cuttlefish can use turbidity to conceal themselves and find their prey is unknown to date. Our hypothesis was that rearing cuttlefish in clear water may affect the development of their visual system and their visually guided behaviors. To tackle this question, newly-hatched cuttlefish were reared for two months under three conditions: clear water (control), low turbidity and high turbidity. We tested the predation behaviour at seven days and defensive behaviour during the first two month in clear sea water and in turbid sea water. Predation test showed that cuttlefish reared in high turbid environment were less efficient to find their prey in turbid water. For camouflage our results showed that all cuttlefish can adapt their camouflage to mimic water turbidity. Cuttlefish also adapt their sand-digging behaviour to water turbidity. Thus water turbidity can impact non visually guided behaviour. These results could provide valuable information to consider water turbidity as a possible factor for the improvement of cuttlefish well-being in artificial rearing systems according to current European regulations (Directive 2010/63/EU).
Bielefeld University, Germany #38 – Annkathrin Sonntag Do bumblebees vary their flight altitude to return home? Along a foraging journey, flying insects, such as bees, are guided by the current visual sceneries. After exiting the nest for the first time, bees memorize the views surrounding their nest. Learning relevant aspects of these views is critical as they contribute to pinpointing the nest on later returns. During such learning flights, bees gain flight altitude and increase their distance and height to the nest. They may even exceed the height of objects surrounding the nest, such as flowers, grass, or bushes, and they experience views completely different from those at much lower altitudes in the immediate vicinity of the nest. In a cluttered environment like a forest or a meadow, the views around the nest may be ambiguous to the similarly-looking objects and numerous occlusions, whereas the views above the clutter are not due to a unique pattern formed by the object's arrangement on the floor. Do bees return by flying above or within the clutter? We challenged bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, in a lab setting to pinpoint their nest entrance surrounded by 40 randomly placed objects. Moreover, we constrained their flight altitude at various stages of learning and homing flights, so that they could use views within or above the clutter. We observed the bees searching for their nest at several locations within the clutter. Although they could fly above the clutter during learning, the bees meandered through the clutter to their perceived nest location. Even if the way through the clutter to the nest was blocked, the bees did not try to search from above. Our experiments could show that bees can pinpoint the nest within a cluttered environment without using views from above.
University of Portsmouth, UK #31 – Claire Perez Use of NetFACS to describe the repertoire of Barbary macaques' facial behaviour Facial signals are important social communication tools in many species, including primates. Alongside signals such as vocalisations, gestures, and body postures, they allow individuals to navigate their social world by helping anticipate future behaviour in interactional settings. Thorough analyses of the complexity of coordinated movements of facial muscles, reflected by the quantity and quality of their relationships, are necessary to apprehend the face as a communication system, and ultimately investigate the evolution of communication. Macaques communicate extensively through facial expressions, nevertheless, their facial movements are often classified in broad categories and not systematically described in a standardized way. This subjective clustering prevents researchers from exploring the subtleties of the morphology of facial displays, which are often graded and merge into one another. The Macaque Facial Action Coding System (MaqFACS) is an anatomically based objective tool used to describe facial behaviour. However, FACS datasets have features that make traditional statistical models unsuitable for reliable analyses, especially defining and quantifying complexity. Standardized methods of network science are one way to overcome these issues. NetFACS is a statistical package combining FACS and network analysis, where the face is conceptualised as a network of interconnected Action Units (AU: the smallest unit of facial communication). AUs are represented as nodes, their combinations as edges and these connections can be weighted to indicate the strength and directionality of the link, all visualized in graphs. We FACScoded 1233 videos of naturally occurring interactions in 43 semi-free ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). We used MaqFACS to report variability, diversity and subtlety to provide a fine-grained repertoire of Barbary macaques’ facial behaviour. We used NetFACS to define and quantify the communicative complexity of the signals. This approach allows us to move away from studying facial displays as stereotyped expressions and report their morphological variability and complexity
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina #37 – Emilia Moreno Regulation of pollen and nectar foraging in honeybees: changes in gustatory perception, learning and memory in bees arriving or departing from food sources In honeybees, the collection of food sources (mainly protein and carbohydrates) is achieved by individuals specializing in pollen or nectar foraging. Foraging task specialization is linked to differences in bees´ sensitivity to flower’s rewards. In behavioral bioassays, the successive offering of increasing concentrations of sucrose solutions showed that nectar foragers are less sensitive to sucrose than pollen foragers. This results suggest that a low gustatory sensitivity could enable nectar foragers to prefer visiting concentrated sugar sources. So far, differences in gustatory perception have been observed between nectar and pollen foragers returning to the hive, but have not yet been studied in bees at the beginning of their foraging visit (i.e. highly motivated to forage). By means of the proboscis extension reflex (PER), an innate response elicited when sugar solution contacts the antennae, we measured the gustatory sensitivity of foragers (n=192) arriving or departing from pollen or sugar feeders. In addition, we olfactory conditioned pollen foragers (n=247) to study differences in acquisition and retention of odour – sucrose associations vs. odour – sucrose + pollen associations, at the beginning and at the end of the visits. Interestingly stadistical analysis showed that, at arrivals, pollen foragers were less responsive than nectar foragers (p=0.019; z ratio=3.93) and performed better with the dual (sucrose + pollen) reinforcement than with sucrose alone (p=<0.0001; z ratio= -4.884). As it was expected for departures, pollen foragers showed higher gustatory sensitivity than nectar foragers (p=<0.0001; z ratio= 8.610) and performed similarly during conditioning with or without pollen reinforcement (p=0.96; z ratio= -0.247). Our results are consistent with the fact that low sucrose responsiveness at the beginning of the foraging visit would prevent pollen foragers from being attracted to nectar sources while enable them to learn source-related cues reinforced with pollen.
University of Hull, UK #42 – James Gilbert How dependent bee larvae manage their nutrition Most self-sufficient organisms must control what they eat in a changing environment full of complex food choices. But dependent offspring, like bee larvae, have limited choice because food is provided by parents. Female mason bees (Osmia bicornis), important pollinators, seal each egg inside a cell provisioned with pollen, and have no further contact with offspring. We investigated how Osmia larvae control nutrient intake over time, and the effects upon growth and survival. To do this we replaced parental provisions with artificial diets differing in protein:carbohydrate ratios - two macronutrients critical to insect development. Carbohydrate intake mediated growth and survival of Osmia larvae, not protein as predicted. Accordingly, larvae maintained constant carbohydrate intake, and self-selected relatively carbohydrate-biased diets. In contrast, they tolerated excesses and deficiencies of protein, making them potentially vulnerable to dietary changes. Over the experiment we found an age-related behavioural shift towards prioritising carbohydrate intake - even though fitness was not ultimately affected by the specific timing of consuming each nutrient. Larvae may prioritize carbohydrate because (a) their normal pollen diet is protein rich, (b) parental provisions are nectar-poor, or (c) they need to store fat for diapause. They could not tolerate any dilution of their diet, probably because of adaptation to nutrient-dense pollen. In a pilot study, we conducted similar rearing experiments under different temperature scenarios (15°C, 20°C, or 25°C). We found that carbohydrate only mediated growth and survival below 25°C; above this, protein mediated fitness. Accordingly, at 25°C, larvae reversed their consumption rules and prioritised protein rather than carbohydrate. Our results demonstrate that dependent offspring are active participants in balancing their own nutrients even where all food is provided by parents; their rules for consumption change over time and are sensitive to abiotic variables like temperature. Our findings have key implications for bees' resilience to changing environments.
University College Dublin, Ireland #6 – Laura Griffin Artificial selection of behavioural traits in human-wildlife feeding interactions Self-motivated human-wildlife feeding interactions are continuously rising in popularity, yet the behavioural and physiological impacts that they have on targeted wildlife species remain poorly understood. Additionally, whether these interactions occur randomly throughout a population or target only a subset of the population is unknown. Using the resident wild fallow deer (Dama dama) herd in Phoenix Park, Dublin, as our model population (n = 468 unique ID-tagged individuals), we discovered natural, repeatable behavioural variation in engagement with these interactions. We identified that only a subset of the population (~24% of males, ~18% of females) would continuously engage with humans to obtain food items, while the rest of the population could be categorised as either occasionally interacting or rarely interacting. These behaviours were repeatable (R=0.377) among individuals over the course of two years. Notably, those deer that continuously engaged in these interactions received a significantly different diet to the rest of the population, with a high intake of unnatural, high energy food items (e.g. carrots, crisps, bread). Following on from this, we discovered that, within the female population, those individuals that engaged continuously produced significantly heavier fawns (+0.5kg). This higher birth weight may provide these offspring with a survival advantage and, ergo, promote the reproductive success of the mother. Additionally, as behavioural traits are heritable, this may promote the unnatural growth of this bold, interacting behavioural type within the population. This highlights the potential for artificial selection processes mediated by food provision by humans.
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina #46 – Rocío Lajad Foraging preferences in honeybees after experiencing adulterated pollen Pollen is the main protein resource for honeybees but can considerably differ in its composition among plant species, including in the presence of deterrent compounds. It is poorly understood how colonies select the most suitable pollens for optimal development. Fresh pollen is not ingested by foragers at the sources but transported to the nest where it is consumed/processed by young/nurse workers. Although foragers avoid collecting some low-quality pollens, they would not be able to make foraging decisions based on pollen constituents that require ingestion to be evaluated. Then, we hypothesized that the adjustment of foraging preferences for the most suitable pollens requires the resource to be experienced by young/nurse bees inside the hive. To unveil the mechanisms of pollen selection, we performed dual-choice experiments with colonies confined in flying cages (9x3x2m). To confirm that foragers decisions were irrespective of certain pollen constituents, we first measured foraging preferences for two monofloral-pollen sources when one of them was offered adulterated with a deterrent (amygdalin) and observed that preferences did not differ from the control (two unadulterated pollens). We then tested foraging preferences 2 days after the adulterated pollen had been offered to: i) foragers at the source who introduced the pollen to the nest; ii) all the bees inside the hive; or iii) young bees that had been transiently isolated from the colony. Differences in pollen preferences among treated and control groups were analyzed using linear regression with normal distribution. Interestingly, foragers avoid the pollen that had been experienced as adulterated inside the hive, either introduced by foragers (i) or by ourselves (ii); however, experienced young/nurse bees alone could not modify responses of inexperienced foragers (iii). Altogether, our results suggest that foraging choices are biased by experiences with pollen of different quality within the nest, although the mechanisms remain unknown.
University of Oxford, UK #28 – Samara Danel Motivation predicts problem-solving performance in a wild sub-Antarctic bird with reversed sexual dimorphism Individual variation in personality relates to cognitive properties and several studies now consider this relationship when assessing cognition. However, the study of sex differences in the link between personality and cognition remains poorly studied. Wild brown skuas show reversed sexual dimorphism (females represent the dominant and larger sex) and sex differences in behavioural traits (e.g., boldness). We found that females first approached and participated in the tests with a human experimenter. Both sexes performed equally well on tasks assessing behavioural flexibility (reversal learning). Females, however, outperformed males on problem solving, either in the dual (both mates: foraging-box task) or in the isolated context (one mate at a time: string-pulling task). Additionally, all but one female ate the reward located next to a novel object (neophobia task). Therefore, the capacity to solve novel problems may arise from sex-specific motivational levels and resulting personality traits.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Tirupati, India #43 – Sree Subha Ramaswamy Termites multiplex chemical cues spatiotemporally based on context Mound building termites build massive, intricate structures out of soil. The mounds are overground and have numerous corridors and galleries leading to the subterranean nesting chambers. This entire architecture enables gas exchange and thermoregulation in addition to protection against predators and abiotic factors. So, mounds are not just a heap of excavated soil. It is not fully understood how termites coordinate to build intricate structures given the fact that they are blind, i.e., they don't have image forming eyes. Previous studies in our lab showed that an injury created in the mound is always repaired swiftly. Given that termites reside underground, it is not clear how they are recruited to the site of repair. Our study focuses on cues employed by termites to find the local site of building. To understand this, we devised an experimental paradigm to measure collective choice toward soils. We found that termites prefer the freshly built soil collected at the site of repair over control soil from the environment. The removal of volatile cues by baking the freshly built soil reduces its preference to termites. Adding back the chemical extract of freshly built soil to control soil, recovers the behaviour. From these, we find that termites chemically manipulate the soil and this helps them find the site. Our results suggest a hierarchy of preferences in chemicals embedded in the soil and how the chemical modality is exploited to encode diverse functional contexts. Also, the preference for soil at the site of repair is innate and this can give us insights about the contribution of collective behavior in making decisions.

Session 3

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#25 – Andrés Martínez Preference/performance of Drosophila Suzukii females in 6 berry cultivars in southern Patagonia
#7 – Brian Julián Gancedo Social context and starvation change the probabilities of behavioral response components of the crab Neohelice to small moving objects
#35 – Daniel Burbano Lombana Data-Driven modeling of zebrafish behavior
#8 – Malgorzata Pilot Genetic inference of the mating system of free-ranging domestic dogs
#5 – Michelle Roper Sexual and temporal variation in New Zealand bellbird song repertoires
#24 – Sonam Chorol Heterospecific eavesdropping on non-alarm signals in two cooperatively breeding avian species in sympatric and allopatric conditions
#36 – Sophie van Meyel Effects of gut microbiota alteration on maternal care in the European earwig
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
Instituto de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias Bariloche, Argentina #25 – Andrés Martínez Preference/performance of Drosophila Suzukii females in 6 berry cultivars in southern Patagonia The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD, Drosophila suzukii is a highly polyphagous fruit pest native to Asia, which in the last decade had widely expanded its range and become a serious pest in America and Europe. SWD is known to affect berries and other economically important fruits. Economic losses can range up to 90% of the total yield. In order to improve current pest management tools, the behavior of the fly under local conditions needs to be studied thoroughly. In this context, our aim was to compare, through field trials, female SWD preference/performance in 3 berry cultivars (2 raspberry and 1 blackberry) in Patagonia, Argentina where the fly has recently been detected and is problematic. The study was conducted during the austral spring and summer of 2019 in the Patagonian Andean Valleys of Argentina where fine fruits have been cultivated for more than 60 years. In order to achieve this, we deployed vinegar-baited traps in the field (18 traps in 2 farms) and also surveyed adult emergence from infected berries, thus quantifying SWD in flight and adults emerging from fruits. This was done for each cultivar through part of the flight season. With this data, we calculated a preference index for each cultivar, taking into account the number of females captured in vinegar traps and flies (male and female) that emerged from fruit collected in the field and incubated in the laboratory in relation to the number of flies captured on average on each date/farm. Additionally, sugar concentration (BRIX) was measured from collected fruit. Our results suggest that there is no effect on female flight preference toward strawberry varieties or blackberrys. Nevertheless, fruit emergence is higher on raspberries than strawberries. Results are discussed in an applied context where environmentally-sound tools are necessary.
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina #7 – Brian Julián Gancedo Social context and starvation change the probabilities of behavioral response components of the crab Neohelice to small moving objects The burrowing crab Neohelice granulata inhabits mudflats, where it interacts with conspecifics and other species behaving as prey or predator. Male escape response to visual danger stimuli has been extensively investigated from behavioral to neuronal level. Other behaviors, like the predatory response, have begun to be studied. Recently, by video recording and analyzing the crab behavior in a laboratory arena to different sizes of dummies moved on the ground level, we identified four different response categories: freezing, avoidance, predatory, and no response. Here, we describe how the probabilities of these responses are affected by sex, social context, stimulus size, and starvation state. Males displayed predatory behavior with a higher probability than females in all tested conditions. However, their predatory response diminished far more than females when a conspecific was in the arena. In the presence of another crab, the no response and the freezing response increased while the avoidance response decreased, both in males and females. Different sizes of stimuli elicited different behavior probabilities. A small dummy (1 cm) was always more effective for evoking the predatory response than a medium dummy (1.8 cm). Starvation increased the predatory response regardless the gender, stimulus size, and social context. The results contribute to our understanding of the stimuli and contextual conditions that boost the crab's predatory response and its chances of ending in successful capture.
New York University, USA #35 – Daniel Burbano Lombana Data-Driven modeling of zebrafish behavior Zebrafish possess a complex behavioral repertoire that is often modulated by the administration of psychoactive compounds. Understanding and quantifying the effects of these pharmacological manipulations are of great importance in preclinical research since they can shed light on the underpinnings of complex emotional states, such as anxiety or fear. Typically, in preclinical studies, hypothesis testing requires the use of many animals. Recent advances in computational modeling make up a promising approach towards Reducing, Refining and Replacing real experiments, thus improving animal wellbeing.
Museum & Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland #8 – Malgorzata Pilot Genetic inference of the mating system of free-ranging domestic dogs Domestication has greatly changed the social and reproductive behaviour of dogs relative to that of wild members of the genus Canis, which typically exhibit social monogamy and extended parental care. Unlike a typical grey wolf pack that consists of a single breeding pair and their offspring from multiple seasons, a group of free-ranging dogs (FRDs) can include multiple breeding individuals of both sexes. We hypothesised that during the dog domestication process, the new conditions resulting from the exploitation of anthropogenic food initiated a transition from the social monogamy towards a polygamous mating system. We used genome-wide SNP genotypes of 44 individuals to reconstruct the genetic pedigree and assess the kinship patterns in social groups in an FRD population. This population consisted of dogs who were not socialized to humans and were living in freely-breeding packs in and around a nature reserve at the outskirts of Rome, Italy. Consistent with behavioural observations, the mating system of the study population was characterized by polygynandry. Instead of the discreet family units observed in wolves, FRDs were linked by a network of kinship relationships that spread across packs. However, we also observed reproduction of the same male-female pairs in multiple seasons, retention of adult offspring in natal packs and dispersal between neighbouring packs – patterns in common with wolves. Although monogamy is the predominant mating system in wolves, polygyny and polyandry are occasionally observed in response to increased food availability. Thus, polygynandry of domestic dogs was likely influenced by the shift in ecological niche from an apex predator to a human commensal.
Massey University, New Zealand #5 – Michelle Roper Sexual and temporal variation in New Zealand bellbird song repertoires How song repertoires vary within species and change over time is well studied in male songbirds. However, variation in female song repertoires remains largely unstudied despite female song being much more common and complex than once assumed. We investigated the song syllable repertoire of the New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura), a species where both sexes have complex but sexually dimorphic song. We compared songs at individual and population levels to investigate sex and temporal variation of syllable repertoires. We detected 96 syllable types in the population over four years, of which 58% were unique to males, 32% unique to females and 9% were shared between the sexes. The population syllable repertoire of both sexes changed substantially across years with similar turnover rates (Jaccard’s similarity coefficients; female 52.9–69.0%; male 58.6–73.7%). Furthermore, many syllable types, unique to each sex, varied in prevalence within the population across years. The syllable repertoire sizes of individuals were higher for males than females (13-32, n = 7 and 6-16, n = 8, respectively). Although these sample sizes were low, the temporal variation in syllable prevalence and turnover for individuals were similar to patterns at the population level. Overall, male and female bellbirds exhibited similarities in temporal patterns of yearly repertoire composition, with rapid changes in syllable prevalence, but females had fewer syllable types than males. We suggest that these similarities and differences are consistent with male and female song repertoires being driven by similar but not identical selection pressures.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India #24 – Sonam Chorol Heterospecific eavesdropping on non-alarm signals in two cooperatively breeding avian species in sympatric and allopatric conditions Sympatric species are more likely to have common predators and a multitude of studies spanning different model organisms have shown eavesdropping of alarm signals among heterospecifics. This is unsurprising as alarm calls provide direct information about the presence of a predator and recognition of these calls from conspecifics and heterospecific may be under strong selection. This has been investigated largely in animals occur in sympatry and rarely in allopatric conditions. However, not many studies have looked at the extent of eavesdropping on non-alarm signals, especially in closely related sympatric species. We examined interspecies communication using long distance contact call between two sympatric congeneric social babblers, Jungle Babblers ( Argya striata ) and Large Grey Babbler ( Argya malcolmi ). We exposed wild population of both species with three playback stimuli; call of congeneric species, conspecific call and call of a sympatric non-congeneric species as negative control. Experiments were conducted in locations where the species co-occurred (sympatry) and where only one of the two was present (allopatry). Our results show that significant response is shown by both species towards experimental stimuli as well as to conspecific calls irrespective of locations. On the other hand, no response is shown towards the call of non-congeneric species. We also found that the nature of response towards conspecific call and to that of the heterospecific is dissimilar indicating that the same call is used in different context by 2 species. We argue, that our results provide experimental evidence of eavesdropping as not just a learned behaviour.
CNRS, University of Tours, France #36 – Sophie van Meyel Effects of gut microbiota alteration on maternal care in the European earwig Almost all animals harbour a community of microorganisms residing within their gut. These microorganisms often modify their host's physiological, reproductive and behavioural functions to increase their own fitness. Whereas recent studies suggest that they may also shape host sociality, the impact of the gut microbiota on maternal care remains unexplored. This is surprising, as maternal care is a very common behaviour in animals, where it often determines the fitness of both juveniles and parents, and is essential in the evolution of complex animal societies. To resolve this gap in knowledge, we tested whether lifelong alterations of the females gut microbiota with rifampicin – a broad spectrum antibiotic - impair pre- and post-hatching maternal care in the European earwig Forficula auricularia. Our results first confirm that rifampicin altered the mothers’ gut microbial communities and reveal that these communities differ before and after egg care. However, we found that rifampicin-induced alterations of the gut microbiota did not modify the expression of pre- or post-hatching care. Interestingly, our data also show that rifampicin affected only 3 of the 21 other physiological, reproductive and longevity traits measured over the 300 days of a female's lifetime: it increased the females’ feces production and led to the production of lighter eggs and juveniles. Overall, these findings reveal that altering the gut microbiota with a large spectrum antibiotic such as rifampicin does not necessarily affect host social behaviours. More generally, our results emphasize that not all animals have evolved a co-dependence with their microbiota and then, call for caution when generalizing the central role of gut microbes in host biology.

Session 4

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#9 – April Timmis How does resting posture and orientation influence escape response in shorebirds
#26 – Erika H. Dawson Disease signalling in ant social immunity
#16 – Hannah Tilley Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) training success in an olfactory choice-test task
#19 – Ljerka Ostojic Bias in animal cognition research: the researchers' perspective
#11 – Miki Bar-ziv Does urbanization affect animal behavior? Spur-winged lapwings from different habitats present personality traits of boldness, exploration and aggressiveness in a common-garden experiment
#17 – Sruthi Unnikrishnan Conserved hormonal and molecular mechanisms underlying behavioural maturation in open- and cavity-nesting honey bees
#10 – Tarunkishwor Yumnam Pupal colour plasticity in the butterfly Catopsilia pomona (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)
#4 – Yair Barnatan Optomotor responses in a semiterrestrial crab: simultaneous recordings of locomotive and ocular movements to understand the underlying circuit
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
Deakin University, Australia #9 – April Timmis How does resting posture and orientation influence escape response in shorebirds Birds face the challenge of avoiding predators, yet the postural adjustments they use to aid their thermoregulation (resting the bill on their back plumage and standing on one leg), may diminish their capacity to detect and escape from approaching predators. This may lead to a temperature-mediated trade-off between anti-predator and thermoregulatory behaviour. In this study, we examine the effect of posture, orientation of the bird relative to their ‘blind spot’ (gap in their visual field) and temperature on the alert and escape distances of ten shorebird species (273 experimental ‘approaches’ by an investigator). We predicted that: 1) heat-conserving postures would be associated with shorter FIDs (flight initiation distances; the distance at which the bird commenced fleeing from the investigator); 2) low temperatures would be linked to shorter FIDs; and 3) approaches from a bird’s blind spot would result in shorter FIDs. Phylogenetically controlled mixed models revealed head posture (backrest or forward facing) did not significantly influence alert distance (AD) or FID. Standing on two legs was associated with longer ADs. Individual species’ models revealed two significant relationships. Approaches from within the blind spot were associated with shorter ADs and FIDs in pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), while higher temperatures were associated with shorter FIDs in red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis). Despite this, we reveal no strong evidence that wild-living shorebirds trade-off antipredator capacity and thermoregulatory behaviours. However, further investigation is warranted across a wider variety of birds
Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Austria #26 – Erika H. Dawson Disease signalling in ant social immunity Parasites and pathogens exert strong selection pressures on their hosts to evolve effective disease defence mechanisms. Despite their many differences, individual metazoan organisms and eusocial insect colonies have evolved many remarkably close parallels in disease defence, as they share a fundamental organisational principle: both consist of a germline and a soma, which in social insects consists of the reproducing queen and its sterile workforce. For example, in multicellular organisms, infected and dying body cells are engulfed by immune cells upon release of a “find me & eat me signal”, thereby preventing disease spread to other cells in the body. Similarly, ant workers perform “destructive disinfection” on fatally infected worker brood, destroying the pupae whilst antimicrobially treating the infection inside their bodies. We know that this behaviour is triggered by the smell of the pupae, but it is not yet clear if the observed pupal smell is a side-effect of infection (i.e. a cue) or a signal emitted to the workers to induce their sanitary response, leading to the sacrifice of the signaller, yet ultimately improving the signaller's fitness by protecting its relatives in the colony. Here we provide the first experimental evidence on disease state signalling as part of the cooperative immune defence of the colony, i.e. its social immunity.
The University of Hong Kong, China #16 – Hannah Tilley Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) training success in an olfactory choice-test task Animal training is important for captive animal husbandry, welfare, enrichment and as a precursor to research. As a prerequisite to much experimental mammalian research, training is vital to facilitate subject understanding of complex cognitive and behavioural tasks. Elephants are an ideal system for examining indicators of training success as captive individuals routinely receive training for welfare reasons and for the safety of their careers. Here we present the results of a study to assess training success using eight female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) from an eco-tourism lodge in Nepal. Elephant subjects participated in a series of four training stages comprised of multiple choice-test trials with different food items. We used two method validation tests to assess elephant choice when (T1) elephants could use olfaction to distinguish between baited and empty buckets and (T2) when olfactory cues were limited. We also assessed the latency for elephants to complete the trials over the course of the training stages. Our results from the method validation tasks showed that (T1) elephants could discriminate between baited and empty buckets unless (T2) olfactory cues were limited. Additionally, latency analyses demonstrate that elephants completed trials in significantly less time in the final training stage compared to the three subsequent stages. Based on these findings, we have identified clear and testable parameters for this task, which can be adapted or applied to other behavioural experimentation. The parameters used also give information about the sensory information involved in the task, which is relevant for ongoing research.
University of Rijeka, Croatia #19 – Ljerka Ostojic Bias in animal cognition research: the researchers' perspective Throughout its history, the research field of animal cognition has attempted to increase the quality of its work, particularly focusing on bias and how to mitigate it. Usually, discussions arounds this issue are led by a small group of scholars. Here, we surveyed a wide range of currently active animal cognition researchers (n=210) to seek their perspective on classic and contemporary issues concerning bias in our field. Researchers voiced concerns about bias at the stage when a study is conducted and when it is published. Specifically, at the stage of conducting studies, they suggested that 'questionable research practices' may be common, although more so in others' research than in their own. When publishing studies, respondents discussed problems with a bias towards positive and/or clearcut results and those that do not question 'preferred' theoretical standpoints, as well as novel studies over replication studies. Respondents also voices concerns about what this bias may mean, highlighting that while there is an awareness that bias is a problem in our research field, the issue is complex and likely has no fast and simple solutions to mitigate it.
Tel Aviv University, Israel #11 – Miki Bar-ziv Does urbanization affect animal behavior? Spur-winged lapwings from different habitats present personality traits of boldness, exploration and aggressiveness in a common-garden experiment The rapid growth of the human population alters natural habitats into human dominate habitats (broadly referred to as "urbanized") and these changes may favor certain phenotypes within wildlife populations. Animal personality, defined as behavioral consistency across time or contexts, can also respond to such changes, with bolder and more aggressive individuals thriving in urbanize habitats. Spur-winged lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) is a common ground nesting bird in Israel, that in contrast to many other species in its guild copes well with urbanization and even expands its population to adjacent countries. It’s vocal and aggressive behavior are a possible explanation to its relative success and therefore we have tested if its repeatable in its behaviors, and if personalities are affected by the habitat, sex, and other factors. We used a common-garden experiment approach to compare behaviors of wild-caught birds brought from different habitats throughout central Israel, ranging from mildly disturbed agriculture to strict urban locations. The birds were tested (solo) three times (a week apart) for three sequential assays of boldness (latency to emerge into a novel cage); exploration (individual’s movement within this unknown cage); and aggressiveness (their reaction to an unfamiliar, dummy lapwing). For all the three trials we find high repeatability values, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach for studying animal personality on diverse avian wildlife beyond the limited set of common target passerine species (e.g. great tits, chickadees and sparrows). Further, while analyses are still developing, we discuss the influence of the habitat and urbanization and a few other factors on those three behavioral axes. This study can further our knowledge gap in the study of animal personality, presenting a case of understanding more the effect of urbanization on behavioral selection
National Centre for Biological Sciences, India #17 – Sruthi Unnikrishnan Conserved hormonal and molecular mechanisms underlying behavioural maturation in open- and cavity-nesting honey bees Behavioural development, where several hormones and neuromodulators coordinate a succession of developmental changes, is a process common across all animal taxa. Social insects have successfully co-opted this process as the basis for their division of labour, for example, age polyethism. Age polyethism, where individuals perform different tasks as they age, has been extensively studied from the level of hormones to brain gene expression in the temperate honey bee, Apis mellifera. Given this detailed knowledge we explore the mechanism of behavioural maturation across other Apis species that differ in size, habitat range and nesting ecology. Based on their nesting biology honey bees are classified as, the ancestral open-nesting and the derived cavity-nesting. The differences in nesting biology are hypothesized to cause a delay in onset of foraging in open-nesting bees. In addition, temperate bees, like A. mellifera, is also expected to have faster maturation due to limitation in flowering periods and the need for large stores of nectar for winter. Comparative studies between two tropical species, A. florea (open-nesting) and A. cerana (cavity-nesting) indicate that workers of A. florea exhibit a slower pace of behavioural maturation and on average start foraging at a later age. However, the basic hormonal and molecular changes associated with onset of foraging are similar in both. Based on our findings, we propose that evolution of accelerated behavioural maturation in cavity-nesting species is likely attributed to changes in the temporal dynamics of juvenile hormone.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, India #10 – Tarunkishwor Yumnam Pupal colour plasticity in the butterfly Catopsilia pomona (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) Pupal colour plasticity (PCP) in many lepidopterans can be adaptive by helping pupae match their background colours. Studies on PCP, most of which have been laboratory-based, have largely used human assessment of colour to categorize pupae as green or brown. This binary categorization limits the understanding of finer pupal colour variations and their function. We conducted a study of PCP in the butterfly Catopsilia pomona by comparing laboratory-reared and wild populations. Using RBG (Red, Blue and Green) values, we considered pupal colour as a continuous variable and showed that a large proportion of the pupae matched the colours of their substrates, with leaf-borne pupae tending to be greener and off-leaf pupae browner. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to demonstrate that colour of the leaf-borne pupae can respond to the fine colour variations of the leaf substrate, highlighting the importance of treating pupal colour as a continuous variable. Compared to the wild population, the laboratory population had more green pupae on off-leaf substrates. Our study thus illustrates that caution should be used when extrapolating the results from laboratory-based studies to the natural world. In leaf-borne wild pupae, pupation position on the leaf, the thickness of the midrib where pupation occurred and the leaf’s length influenced the pupal colour. Our study underscores the need for further research on PCP as a background-matching strategy in light of predation.
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina #4 – Yair Barnatan Optomotor responses in a semiterrestrial crab: simultaneous recordings of locomotive and ocular movements to understand the underlying circuit All visual animals must deal with motion of the whole panorama over their retinas when they move. Such motion blurs the image compromising the ability to see. Image shifts are stabilized by compensatory behaviors collectively termed optomotor responses (OR). Such reflex behaviors can involve the movement of the eyes, the head or the whole-body depending on the animal. In the mud crab Neohelice granulata , OR induced by the rotation of a visual panorama involves an optokinetic nystagmus (very similar to the one seen in humans) and the rotation of the animal. Both components have been independently studied at the laboratory. Even though OR can normally be evoked by clockwise or anticlockwise motion, when the vision of one eye is occluded, only one direction (front to back in the ipsilateral field of the seeing eye) elicits strong responses. The opposite direction leads to a weak response, where unsuccessful compensatory behaviors (errors) are seen. Similar results have been reported in flies where the circuit controlling these behaviors is well known. To begin understanding the circuit controlling these responses in crabs and how the two behavioral outputs (eyes and legs) interact, in this study, we present simultaneous recordings of the locomotive and ocular outputs in response to panoramic motion. Different conditions of vision were employed (monocular, binocular) as well as direction (clockwise, anticlockwise). Results show that there is a crosstalk between both behavioral outputs. Moreover, ocular and locomotive responses are being balanced to successfully compensate for image shifts under binocular or front to back monocular stimulation. Back to front stimulation leads to errors and to a decoupling of the two systems.

Session 5

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#13 – Ambre Salis Heterospecific communication and syntax in Parids' mobbing calls
#1 – Dounia Djellal Neurobehavior disorder following a chronic exposure to low dose of thiacloprid in rats
#22 – Ehud Fonio Combining multiple communication channels during cooperative transport in the longhorn crazy ant ( Paratrechina longicornis )
#47 – Jitesh Jhawar Long-term tracking reveals individual and collective response of a honey bee colony to heat stress
#32 – Johseph Paballo Gomez de Souza Optodrive: a low cost, 3D-printable device for optical stimulation and neural recording in rodents
#39 – Rituparna Sonowal Understanding the effect of sterilization in the social behaviors of free-ranging dogs of India
#30 – Suyash Sawant Individual song complexity and within-population song sharing in the White-bellied Sholakili Sholicola albiventris
#34 – Verónica I. Cantarelli Non-invasive endocrine monitoring applied to conservation, welfare and animal behavioral studies
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, France #13 – Ambre Salis Heterospecific communication and syntax in Parids' mobbing calls When mobbing a predator, birds often produce specific mobbing calls that are efficient in recruiting both conspecifics and heterospecifics. Recent studies on Parids have demonstrated that these mobbing calls are in fact a combination of two distinct calls—first, introductory notes eliciting vigilance in the receiver, then broadband frequency notes (D notes) triggering approach. Debates on a parallel between human syntax and this form of combination have emerged. The degree to which this combinatoriality is perceived in heterospecific communication may shed light onto the relative complexity of such combinatoriality. In this study, our aim was to determine whether European great tits (Parus major) appropriately responded to mobbing calls (and their isolated parts) of an allopatric species, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), a North-American species which produces similar combinatorial mobbing calls. As we hypothesized, great tits responded to the introductory and D notes by respectively scanning and approaching, and to the complete sequence by mobbing. Our results altogether support the emerging hypothesis of semantic compositionality in Parids, although the present study does not definitively demonstrate the existence of this cognitive process in the great tit.
University of Batna 2, Algeria #1 – Dounia Djellal Neurobehavior disorder following a chronic exposure to low dose of thiacloprid in rats The neurobehavioral approach consists of studying the effect of toxic exposure on the nervous system, whose behavioral effects in humans and in various another animal species have been reported in several studies after toxic exposure, It is important to mention that public health is a significant issue everyday as it is constantly exposed to micro-dosages of pesticides, by which biological matrices are polluted. These dangerous contaminations are likely to exhibit public health into several neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson and Alzheimer’s diseases. Accordingly, thiacloprid neonicotinoids insecticides, its excessive use leads to its accumulation in various fruits and vegetables, particularly fresh tomato, in this study we presented the different aspects of behavior that are assessed locomotion, memory, learning, anxiety and coordination and balance. So, our objective is evaluating the neurotoxicity of thiacloprid level of (0.020 mg/kg/day). This work was carried on Wistar female rats throughout 90 days, behaviour is evaluated by determined tests (Open field, Novel Object Recognition, Elevated plus maze, Balance beam) once the period of the study has ended. The results obtained clearly show the toxic effect of this insecticide, a behavioural disorder that appears as hypo-activity , and the result confirms that thiacloprid produces an anxiogenic effect compared to the control group, our results show clearly a poor of memory and learning disability, and deficits in coordination and balance in the rats exposed to thiacloprid. Finally, concluded that a low dose of thiaclopridcould induce neurotoxicity and loss of cellular and functional integrity of brain.
The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel #22 – Ehud Fonio Combining multiple communication channels during cooperative transport in the longhorn crazy ant ( Paratrechina longicornis ) The usage of pheromones for communication has long been one of the hallmarks of social insects. During many collective behaviors, however, groups may exploit other information sources, which have to be incorporated during the task performance in order to attain the level of cooperativity that is required for achieving the collective goal. In the realm of cooperative transport, longhorn crazy ants ( Paratrechina longiccornis ) combine several different information sources. This allows for complex communication schemes that bring about some non-trivial collective navigational- and problem solving- capabilities, which in turn enable highly efficient cooperative transport through various complex environments. Here I would like to show how these ants achieve such remarkable performance.
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Germany #47 – Jitesh Jhawar Long-term tracking reveals individual and collective response of a honey bee colony to heat stress In honey bee colonies, thousands of individuals coordinate their behaviors to achieve colony-level goals. To meet the colony’s requirements, workers switch between tasks as they age: from brood care, to nest maintenance, to foraging. In addition to these broad tasks, changes in behavior also occur at shorter timescales in response to external stressors, such as a predator attack or a heat stress. Because it is critical that internal nest temperatures for brood rearing do not become too high, individuals change their behavior to facilitate cooling of the nest when temperatures increase. To understand how workers change their behavior during heat stress, and what predicts these behavioral changes, we tagged thousands of individual honey bees using the BeesBook automated tracking system and subjected the colony to heat stress (n=6 heat-stress trials). Extracting multiple simultaneous behavioral metrics (e.g. speed, and time spent on different nest substrates), we used principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering to identify and organize predominant behavioral responses. We find that individual bees differ in their response during heat stress - in particular, some bees respond by increasing speed and dispersion throughout the nest, while simultaneously decreasing time spent in the brood area. We then ask what factors predict these individual-level behavioral changes, comparing the effects of age with previous behavior and locations in the nest. These results give insight to how many individual bees change their behavior, and in what way, to achieve a coordinated response of the colony to an external perturbation.
Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience, Brazil #32 – Johseph Paballo Gomez de Souza Optodrive: a low cost, 3D-printable device for optical stimulation and neural recording in rodents Recordings of extracellular neuronal activity combined with optogenetics are essential to investigate brain function. Microdrives are used to record electrophysiological signals and allow movement of the recording electrodes in the dorsoventral axis. Here, we describe the steps to build the optodrive, a low-cost, 3D-printable device that can be designed for uni or bilateral recordings, allows downward motion of the fiber optic and electrodes, and permits optogenetic modulation and electrophysiological recordings in freely moving rodents. We present results showing that chronic implants of this lightweight device (< 3g) in the dorsal hippocampus of adult male Wistar rats does not affect exploratory behavior in a novel environment or performance in a novel object recognition task. Also, we show that the optodrive acquires stable and high-quality electrophysiological signals and can be used for optogenetic modulation of LFP activity.
Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India #39 – Rituparna Sonowal Understanding the effect of sterilization in the social behaviors of free-ranging dogs of India Free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are an integral part of the human environment residing in rural and urban areas in India and many other countries. Free-ranging dogs are those domestic dogs that do not have an owner and whose movements and activities are not under the direct supervision of human beings. They generally lead a scavenging lifestyle living close to human habitation and are also heavily dependent on humans for their food. With time, being adapted to live close to human settlements on the streets, they share a complex relationship with humans and interact either positively or negatively. They are often considered a menace by many people, as dirty animals that bark, bite and spread rabies. There is also evidence of dog-human conflict on the streets, and to decrease such conflicts, humans are actively taking part in sterilizing them as an amicable solution. In this study, we studied a population of sterilized free-ranging to understand the effect of human interference in the social behaviors of free-ranging dogs. To understand this, we studied 12 sterilized dogs for two years (2018-2020) in the IISER Kolkata campus and compared their behavioral profiles across seasons with a control population, i.e., with 12 non-sterilized dogs in the same habitat. Our analysis reveals that there is no such significant difference in the investment of time in showcasing different behaviors throughout the day between the two populations. Also, the behavioral profiles in both populations of dogs were somewhat similar. But in the longer term, sterilized dogs were less affiliative as compared to Non-sterilized dogs . Thus, neutering or spaying a population of free-ranging dogs is causing a change in their affiliative nature towards their group members or other dogs.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Tirupati, India #30 – Suyash Sawant Individual song complexity and within-population song sharing in the White-bellied Sholakili Sholicola albiventris Many studies on animal communication have suggested the importance of vocalizations in mate selection and territorial defense. Studying the complexity of these vocalizations and the vocal repertoire that creates the songs can shed light on the development of dialects. In this case study, we study individual variation in song parameters and song sharing in the White-bellied Sholakili Sholicola albiventris an endemic and cryptic species distributed across Shola forests in sky-islands of southern Western Ghats, India. The bird is highly territorial and has very complex vocalizations with a large vocal repertoire. This study examines 15 individuals of S. albiventris in one of the Shola-forest patches in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. All the individuals were color-banded and later sexed using molecular sexing techniques. We followed these individuals throughout the breeding season (Summer 2021) to understand the territories and recorded the songs using hand-held shotgun microphones. All the songs were then annotated at the note level, followed by the extraction of various song parameters. We used our newly developed approach- Note Variability Index (NVI) to quantify birdsong complexity using the inter-note spectral variation. We then classified the notes using both automated and manual classification based on the spectro-temporal differences. We then ran a network analysis to understand the sharing of note types across individuals based on the note classification. We got interesting patterns in shared note types for neighboring vs. non-neighboring individuals and significant differences in song parameters across individuals. This case study can help understand cultural patterns in birdsongs, especially for range-restricted and highly territorial species. The study also uses simple and easily applicable approaches with available software to study the song complexity and repertoires, which can be used for a wide range of studies on animal communication.
National University of Córdoba, Argentina #34 – Verónica I. Cantarelli Non-invasive endocrine monitoring applied to conservation, welfare and animal behavioral studies Traditionally, studies on reproductive biology and the response to stress have been based on the determination of endocrine activity of hormones associated with these processes in plasma, along with behavioral studies. However, the collection of blood samples itself constitutes a procedure that can modify plasma glucocorticoid levels and negatively impact the expression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal/adrenal axis and consequently the behavioral activity of the studied animals. In addition, plasma levels of certain hormones fluctuate widely as a result of pulsatile secretion and/or circadian rhythms and therefore, each blood sample provides a static data of a parameter that is changing, so multiple samples would be needed to have a reliable notion of long-term hormonal secretory activity. Non-invasive hormonal monitoring allows us to measure the metabolites of steroid hormones in different matrices, such as feces, urine, saliva, hair, feathers, egg yolk etc. The steroids of interest are extracted from the matrices using methanol and/or ether, and the resulting supernatant is assayed using polyclonal antibodies in an enzyme immunoassay. The main benefit of these techniques lies in the fact that its use completely avoids the stress of animal handling and restraint associated with the collection of blood samples and the risks related with repetitive venipuncture. This is particularly important when dealing with wild animals or when also recording behavioral data. Furthermore, sample collection can be performed during long periods of time and finally, the type of assay used is relatively simple, efficient and easy to adapt from one species to another. Using these techniques, we are able to evaluate, both in the wild and in captivity, aspects as diverse as reproductive cycles, seasonal variations, sexual and behavioral differences associated with hormones, association between hierarchical positions, effects of environmental toxins on the endocrine function, stress and, even more, human activities impact on animal welfare.

Session 6

Poster ID - Speaker Title
#27 – Aleksandra Mech Identification of lines showing altered sensitivity to rewarding effects of nicotine using a self-administration assay in zebrafish
#41 – Amy Kennedy Distinguishing helmeted hornbill vocalizations using unsupervised clustering techniques
#2 – Cloé Joly A behavioral study about parasite burden of Plain's zebras (Equus Quagga bohemi)
#12 – Curt Barnes Social snakes: interactions between individual green pit vipers in Thailand
#45 – Dakota McCoy New Caledonian Crows are Optimistic After Tool Use
#15 – Erhan Ertuc The Paradoxical Universe of Destructive Chewing in Dogs
#23 – Soniya Devi Yambem Examining communicative complexity and Morton’s motivational structural rule in the vocalization of Jungle Babbler
Roll over the titles to see the abstracts
Institution Poster ID - Speaker Title
Queen Mary University of London, UK #27 – Aleksandra Mech Identification of lines showing altered sensitivity to rewarding effects of nicotine using a self-administration assay in zebrafish Addiction, including nicotine addiction, is one of the major mental health disorders and a leading cause of death in the world. Previous studies have shown the relevance of genetic factors responsible for a progression to abusive usage, with heritability for smoking estimated to stand at 0.5. Increased understanding of the genetics of smoking is necessary to identify novel drug targets and improve treatment. Here, we used a novel self-administration assay for juvenile fish to screen ENU-mutagenized zebrafish lines for nicotine seeking. The assay consists of 3 asymmetrically connected chambers with nicotine being administered to one of the chambers by diffusion from a point source thereby setting up a concentration gradient across the 3 chambers. Increased time spent in proximity to the nicotine source is taken as evidence of nicotine seeking behavior. We screened 54 families covering 3318 dominant and 1037 recessive alleles for nicotine seeking. Wild-type fish showed limited tendency to approach or avoid the nicotine source. However, 10 families of ENU mutagenized fish showed preference for, or aversion to, the nicotine chamber. Two of these families are predicted to house a dominant mutation affecting the behavior and 8 are predicted to house recessive mutations. So far, we have shown the heritability of the observed phenotype for two of the lines. Future work will assess the heritability for the remaining families and identify the pathways affected.
Cornell University, USA #41 – Amy Kennedy Distinguishing helmeted hornbill vocalizations using unsupervised clustering techniques Understanding the population density and distribution of endangered species is an important factor in conservation efforts. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be used to obtain population data through the identification of individual animals and is especially useful in monitoring species that are cryptic yet vocal. In this study, we used PAM to monitor helmeted hornbills (Rhinoplax vigil) in the Bornean rainforest. Helmeted hornbills are a critically endangered species native to the forests of Southeast Asia and emit loud calls that are heard over many kilometers. We collected acoustic data on helmeted hornbill calls using 10 autonomous recording units in Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia. To distinguish between hornbill calls, we analyzed several acoustic features and used unsupervised techniques to group similar calls into clusters. Using this technique, hornbill calls that are sufficiently unique separate into different clusters so that the number of clusters might equal the number of individual hornbills in the study area. Our data showed a tendency to cluster and separations may be related to individual or sex differences in vocalizations, indicating that analysis of helmeted hornbill loud calls may be useful in understanding population structures.
University of Poitiers, France #2 – Cloé Joly A behavioral study about parasite burden of Plain's zebras (Equus Quagga bohemi) Living in groups is the result of a tradeoff including benefits and costs. Among various costs, parasites and diseases transmission highly contributes to mass effect. Within groups, parasite burden is individually heterogeneous and is linked to hierarchical position. For example, in wild zebras, the most dominated individuals present the highest parasitic loads. Nematodes of Strongylidae family represent the main cause of parasitosis in captive equids. These direct-cycling parasites reproduce in the intestines of their host and eggs are excreted in faeces. The larvae hatch and then infect their host by ingestion during grazing. In this study we investigated the impact of the host social behaviors on strongyle’s distribution in a group of captive plains zebras and consequences of anthelmintics treatment. For six months, a group of zebras in a French safari parc (the Réserve Africaine de Sigean -RAS) was observed. Hierarchical structure was assessed with David’s score. Based on the frequency of behaviors including contact between a zebra's mouth and its environment, we defined a Contamination Risk Index (CRI). Parasite load in feces was also estimated. Our results show that social structure observed with plains zebra at RAS is comparable to wild zebra populations. About 20% of zebras carry 70% of the total gastrointestinal parasite burden. After application of anthelmintics, the most dominated zebras are the most parasitized and have higher CRI. Our results suggest that hierarchy and social interactions play an important role in transmission of gastrointestinal parasites. Further investigation will help to identify new treatment strategies based on their hierarchical position in the group to reduce anthelmintics used. We believe that improving such parasite management will decrease environmental impact of Veterinary medicine release.
Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand #12 – Curt Barnes Social snakes: interactions between individual green pit vipers in Thailand Study of serpent social behaviour traditionally has been limited, but recent advances in technology have begun to contest the paradigm of lack of social complexity for vipers. While investigating general behaviour of wild medically significant green pit vipers at Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve and Suranaree University of Technology, we irregularly (13 observations for 6 individuals) documented conspecific interactions using fixed camera technology in forested, rural, and semi- urban habitats. We specifically looked at interactions between focal vipers and conspecifics which occurred on the cameras while focal pit vipers were ambushing, with interactions defined as direct or indirect depending on distance, and subsequent outcome of interactions was classified as neutral, distracting, or agonistic. Interactions were observed to be primarily indirect (7 observations) and resulted in neutral (6 observations) outcomes. Direct interactions (6 observations) and distracting and agonistic outcomes (3 of observations, 4 observations; respectively) were observed less often. Direct agonistic interactions, while rare, provide valuable insight- our observations of green pit vipers stealing ambush sites and biting foraging conspecifics are completely novel. All interactions occurred outside of the mating season. Limited resources, particularly sheltering and foraging sites which are not independent of each other and prey availability, coupled with suboptimal seasonal conditions may explain our observed interactions. While green pit vipers may interact with conspecifics infrequently in the wild, consequences of limited study and underestimation of the social complexity of these species could present significant study design bias and conservation and snakebite management implications. Green pit vipers may serve as model organisms for understanding snake social behaviour complexity due to distinct sexual dimorphism within species and vertical stratification between co- occurring species, which have not been adequately investigated within this context.
Stanford University, USA #45 – Dakota McCoy New Caledonian Crows are Optimistic After Tool Use What makes animals happy? In humans, many adaptive behaviours are reinforced not only by material reward but also by positive emotions. For decades, scientists have wondered whether animals also experience positive emotions during complex behaviors. Work to date on animal optimism, as an indicator of positive affect, has generally focused on how animals react to changes in their circumstances (e.g., receiving enrichment or being manipulated), rather than whether complex actions improve emotional state. Here, we show that wild New Caledonian crows are optimistic after tool use, a complex, species-specific behaviour. Optimism is an indicator of positive mood; in other words, crows appear to enjoy using tools. We further demonstrate that this finding cannot be explained by the crows needing to put more effort into gaining food. Therefore, perhaps intrinsic motivation (enjoyment) shapes the evolution of tool use and other complex behaviours.
Ankara University, Ankara #15 – Erhan Ertuc The Paradoxical Universe of Destructive Chewing in Dogs Our pet friends, dogs, who play valuable roles in many parts of our lives, are becoming more and more important for us as their evolutionary past is being illuminated more and more every day. It can be said that some behavioral problems experienced by our pet dogs in their normal life processes have increased with the effect of the pandemic process. Especially when we are trying to get used to our "new normal" life, this change they are exposed to may cause some behavioral problems to be seen more frequently. In this study, the possible causes of destructive chewing behavior, which is very common in domestic dogs, in today's conditions are tried to be mentioned. It was mentioned that this behavioral problem may have many other reasons, not only because of separation anxiety, which is frequently repeated by everyone. Many different motivations underlie dogs' behavior, and our perspective on them helps us understand them better. Therefore, it will be useful for our friends to better understand the contradictory universe of this problem, which harms the owner-dog relationship like destructive chewing. In this study, the evolutionary history of dogs, their relationship with humans, the impact of the pandemic process, and finally, the possible causes of destructive chewing, which is the main issue, are discussed using various literature sources. According to the information obtained, many motivations underlie the destructive chewing behavior and separation anxiety is not the only reason.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India #23 – Soniya Devi Yambem Examining communicative complexity and Morton’s motivational structural rule in the vocalization of Jungle Babbler Social birds exhibit a diverse array of vocalization which is attributed to their extensive interactions. These vocalisations along with its related behaviours contribute to communicative complexity and may be important in maintaining social bonds. In this study, we characterized the vocal repertoire and the associated behaviours in a social passerine, Jungle Babbler (Argya striata). Jungle Babblers (JB) are cooperative breeders and are found ubiquitously in groups of 3-20 individuals. Groups of JB were followed year-round and all vocalization and their associated behaviours were recorded. Detailed acoustic analyses reveal the presence of 15 distinct call types based on different behavioural contexts and structure. We also found that the calls produced in similar behavioural contexts (functionally similar) were also structurally similar and grouped together, which extends support to Morton’s motivational structural rule. Examining complexity of these vocalization based on its functions and structure, helps to study the effects of communicative complexity on sociality and vice versa.

Organising committee

Alexis Buatois

University of Gothenburg, Sweden ResearchGate | Twitter

Valentin Lecheval

University of Leeds, UK Website | Twitter

Natacha Rossi

Queen Mary University of London, UK ResearchGate | Twitter

Ebi Antony George

University of Lausanne, Switzerland Website | Twitter

Amanda Facciol

University of Toronto, Canada ResearchGate | Twitter

Saeed Shafiei Sabet

University of Guilan, Iran ResearchGate | Twitter

Kenzy I. Peña-Carrillo

National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research, Mexico ResearchGate | Twitter

Berenice Romero

University of Saskatchewan, Canada ResearchGate