Mate familiarity mediates social learning

Fantastic new paper from Kirke just out in Oecologia! For this paper Kirke ran a range of sophisticated behavioural trials to examine a) whether female Liopholis whitii use social information to solve tasks and b) whether they are selective about who they learn from. She found that lizards rely on their own trial-and-error learning when executing simple tasks but switch to social learning when tasks become more difficult and personal information becomes unreliable. She also found that when using social information, lizards tended to learn more quickly from their social partners. Combined these results provide some neat evidence for context-dependent learning – with lizards differentiating between when they utilise social learning and also whom they learnt from. Check out the full story here!

Munch, K.L., Noble, D.W.A., Wapstra, E. and While, G.M. (In press) Mate familiarity and social learning in a monogamous lizardOecologia.