Tatemoto, P., Serra, M. 2021. Low luminosity reduces agonistic behaviour of Nile tilapia. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 24(4), 434-441.
In confrontations, many behaviors are based on visual information. To establish the importance of visual signals in the aggression of cichlid fish, we observed the behavior of groups in three juveniles of Nile tilapia (six groups in each condition), for 30 minutes under two extremes of light condition: high luminosity and low luminosity (dark condition for humans – only infrared light). The average number of bites and chases in the low luminosity was lower than observed in high luminosity. We conclude that the low luminosity condition diminishes but does not eliminate fights, and the fish can rely on nonvisual senses and low intensity of light to interact with conspecifics. The artificial high luminosity in artificial environments is potentially compromising welfare for increasing the number of agonistic interactions. Moreover, it is possible that in experimental designs studying behavior the high luminosity is a variable interfering in the conclusions about agonistic behavior in cichlid fish.