Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 10, pp 1253–1264 | Cite as

The acoustic behavior of Southern King Weakfish (Macrodon atricauda-Sciaenidae)

  • Javier S. TellecheaEmail author


Many species of fishes use acoustic signals for a variety of purposes, and sciaenid are well-known producers of sound. The Southern King Weakfish (Macrodon atricuada- Sciaenidae) possesses sexually dimorphic bilateral sonic muscles used for sound production. The bilaterally paired muscles lie on the inner body wall of the male, surrounding the swimbladder. The Southern King Weakfish produces three different sounds: advertisement calls, disturbance calls and dual-knocks, these sounds were recorded from Rio de la Plata estuary, Uruguayan coastal waters and laboratory. The advertisement call, related to courtship, was recorded in the field and from spawning males in the laboratory. Disturbance calls were produced when captive M. atricauda were startled, chased with a net or grabbed by the tail. Disturbance calls consist of a burst of pulses produced at short intervals. In disturbance call interpulse interval increased and dominant frequency decreased linearly (P < 0.05), pulse duration did not change with fish size. M. atricauda start producing disturbance call at 14 cm LT (Total Length), but only individuals over than 25 cm LT were who produced the advertisement call. Dual-knocks, call compose of only two pulses together, was recorder only in captivity. Sounds are a valuable non-invasive tool for fisheries biologists can used to monitor on males in spawning populations.


Sound production Rio de la Plata Sonic muscle Macrodon atricauda 



I would like to thank to MSc Daniela Olsson for her help in the fish handling and transport to the tanks on the boat and also the for their suggestions and improvement to the English text. Also to ANII (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación) through the National Research System (ANII–SIN–Uruguay) for support. This manuscript been approved by an Animal Care Committee of Uruguay: Comisión Honoraria de Experimentation Animal (CHEA), Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Área de Anatomía, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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