Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Description of a personality syndrome in a common and invasive ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

Abstract

Animal personality, defined as consistent differences among individuals in their behaviour, is being increasingly studied as it might lead to a new understanding of the evolution of behaviours. Despite a clear interest in studying personality in a wide range of taxa for comparative analyses, studies on invertebrates are still scarce. Here, we investigated the personality of a ground beetle, Nebria brevicollis, which is widespread in Europe and invasive in North America. We measured seven behavioural traits from an array of three different tests: (i) activity and exploration related traits; (ii) reaction to a threat, and (iii) phototaxis. The repeatability was tested by measuring all behaviours twice, on different days. All behavioural traits were consistent through time, highlighting the presence of personality in the beetle. In addition, we analysed the relationship between the different traits and highlighted two clusters of behaviours (behavioural syndrome), one grouping activity, exploration and boldness traits, and a second one consisting of responses to a threat. This study is the first to our knowledge to provide evidence for personality dimensions within the vast group of the Carabidae. It also constitutes a preliminary step in the experimental investigation of the importance of animal personality in invasive species.