Picking personalities apart: estimating the influence of predation, sex and body size on boldness in the guppy Poecilia reticulata
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Predation is a strong selective force in most natural systems, potentially fueling evolutionary changes in prey morphology, life history and behaviour. Recent work has suggested that contrasting predation pressures may lead to population differentiation in personality traits. However, there are indications that these personality traits also differ between sexes and not necessarily in a consistent way between populations. We used an integrative approach to quantify boldness (latency to emerge from a shelter) in wild-caught guppies in relation to predation pressure, population origin, sex and size. In addition we quantified the repeatability of these personality traits. We show that predation regime had significant effects on emergence time. In general, fish from high predation localities emerged sooner from the shelter compared to those from low predation localities. We found strong sex differences; males were significantly bolder than females. The relationship between emergence time and body size was non-significant in all populations. We discuss what responses to expect from predator-nave versus predator-experienced individuals and how this can be linked to the shyness-boldness continuum.