University of Sussex
Scherer-et-al_2017_AnimBehav_accepted.pdf (286.49 kB)

Different or alike? Female rainbow kribs choose males of similar consistency and dissimilar level of boldness

Download (286.49 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 14:50 authored by Ulrike Scherer, Mira Kuhnhardt, Wiebke SchuettWiebke Schuett
Although the existence of consistent between-individual differences in behaviour (‘personality differences’) has been well documented during the last decade, the adaptive value of such behavioural limitations remains an open field for researchers of animal behaviour. Personalities clearly restrict individuals in their ability to adjust their behaviour to different conditions. However, sheer costs of flexibility cannot explain the polymorphism created by personality variation. In a correlative approach, we here tested whether mate choice might act as a major driving force maintaining personality variation in the monogamous, biparental rainbow krib, Pelvicachromis pulcher. We personality-typed all males and females for their boldness (activity under simulated predation risk) and allowed females to choose between two males that differed in their boldness (behavioural level and consistency). Prior to the choice, females were allowed to observe both males, expressing their natural boldness towards a video-animated natural predator. Both sexes showed personality differences in boldness over the short and long term. Furthermore, when removing side-biased females, we found a disassortative mating preference for the behavioural level and an assortative preference for behavioural consistency in boldness. These preference patterns might facilitate effective parental role allocation during offspring care and/or provide genetic benefits. Our results suggest that sexual selection plays an important role in the evolution of personality differences.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


Animal Behaviour







Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


First Open Access (FOA) Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected