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Hamilton, TJ, Kline DI, Tresguerres M.  2018.  Shoaling behaviour is differentially altered by ethanol and dopamine D1 receptor modulators in tropical marine forage fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 56(3):1-6.   AbstractWebsite

Anchovies are filter-feeding fish that inhabit nearshore environments worldwide. With increasing human pharmaceutical use, drugs that alter neurological functioning are becoming more prevalent in aquatic ecosystems via wastewater effluent, creating the need for tests that can reliably determine sublethal effects of these drugs on coastal fish populations. In this study, we used Caribbean anchovies (Anchoa spp.) as a tropical marine fish model to test drug-induced alterations of locomotion and shoaling behaviour with a video-based analysis system. Consistent with its anxiolytic effects in zebrafish (Danio rerio), ethanol decreased shoal cohesion in anchovies. We also characterized the effects of drugs known to modulate the dopaminergic system in zebrafish and rodents. A D1 receptor agonist (SKF 38393) and a D1 receptor antagonist (SCH 23390) increased the time anchovy spent in the center of the arena, but neither drug had an impact on shoal cohesion. Finally, the D1 receptor agonist caused significantly lower meandering compared with fish treated with the D1 receptor antagonist and ethanol. This study suggests that anchovy is a suitable Caribbean marine model for toxicology studies.