Getting into hot water:sick guppies frequent warmer thermal conditions

Mohammed, Ryan S., Reynolds, Michael, James, Joanna, Williams, Chris, Mohammed, Azad, Ramsubhag, Adesh, van Oosterhout, Cock ORCID: and Cable, Jo (2016) Getting into hot water:sick guppies frequent warmer thermal conditions. Oecologia, 181 (3). 911–917. ISSN 0029-8549

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Ectotherms depend on the environmental temperature for thermoregulation and exploit thermal regimes that optimise physiological functioning. They may also frequent warmer conditions to up-regulate their immune response against parasite infection and/or impede parasite development. This adaptive response, known as ‘behavioural fever’, has been documented in various taxa including insects, reptiles and fish, but only in response to endoparasite infections. Here, a choice chamber experiment was used to investigate the thermal preferences of a tropical freshwater fish, the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata), when infected with a common helminth ectoparasite Gyrodactylus turnbulli, in female-only and mixed-sex shoals. The temperature tolerance of G. turnbulli was also investigated by monitoring parasite population trajectories on guppies maintained at a continuous 18, 24 or 32 °C. Regardless of shoal composition, infected fish frequented the 32 °C choice chamber more often than when uninfected, significantly increasing their mean temperature preference. Parasites maintained continuously at 32 °C decreased to extinction within 3 days, whereas mean parasite abundance increased on hosts incubated at 18 and 24 °C. We show for the first time that gyrodactylid-infected fish have a preference for warmer waters and speculate that sick fish exploit the upper thermal tolerances of their parasites to self medicate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural fever,climate change,gyrodactylus,thermal gradients,trinidadian guppy,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2016 11:00
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 00:59
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3598-1


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