Betta Aggression Lab

Students in the Ichthyology class at Washington College, taught by Dr. Martin Connaughton, observed and experimented with male Betta fish and their displays of aggression. Students learned the different signs of aggression (opercle expansion, lateral display, approach, fin spreading, etc.) that a male might exhibit in order to intimidate an opposing male, an object outside the tank, or even its own reflection. After observing their behavior, students developed their own experiments to determine the impact of factors such as fish size, fish color, and opercle size on the fish’s display of aggression.