Zebrafish (danio rerio) shoaling in light and dark conditions involves a complex interplay between vision and lateral line
behavioral neuroscience, cobalt chloride, group behavior, lateral line, shoaling, zebrafish, vision
We know little about how - or even if in some species – fish shoal in darkness. We hypothesized that ‘dark shoaling’ occurs in zebrafish and therefore must depend upon lateral line sensory input. Shoaling in groups of five adult zebrafish was analyzed with motion tracking software. We measured average inter-individual distance, time near the arena wall (thigmotaxis zone) and total distance traveled under normal room light, and in near-complete darkness (infrared light at 850 nm). These observations were repeated in fish treated with cobalt chloride (CoCl2), which ablates lateral line function. In untreated controls, dark shoaling was reduced compared to in light, but nonetheless still present. Elimination of lateral line sensory input by CoCl2 treatment similarly reduced, but did not eliminate, shoaling under both light and dark. Our findings indicate that normal zebrafish shoaling in light or dark requires both visual and lateral line inputs, with neither alone sufficient for normal shoaling.
Chaput, S.-L., Burggren, W. W., Hurd, P. L., & Hamilton, T. J. (2023). Zebrafish (danio rerio) shoaling in light and dark conditions involves a complex interplay between vision and lateral line. Behavioural Brain Research, 439, 114228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2022.114228
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