Zebrafish Ecology and Behaviour

  • Rowena Spence
Part of the Neuromethods book series (NM, volume 52)


The zebrafish is an important model organism in developmental genetics, neurophysiology and biomedicine, but little is known about its natural ecology and behaviour. It is a small, shoaling cyprinid, native to the flood-plains of the Indian subcontinent, where it is found in shallow, slow-flowing waters. Zebrafish are group spawners and egg scatterers, although females are selective with respect to sites for oviposition and males are territorial around such sites. Laboratory studies of zebrafish behaviour have encompassed shoaling, foraging, reproduction, sensory perception and learning. This chapter reviews these studies in relation to the suitability of the zebrafish as a model for studies in behavioural ecology.

Key words

Model organism social behaviour morphology ecology reproduction development (ontogeny) evolution (phylogeny) natural habitat diet social behaviour reproductive behaviour cognitive behaviour genetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rowena Spence
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St AndrewsSt. Andrews FifeScotland

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