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Sounds produced by spawning fishes


Low frequency sounds are shown to be associated with the spawning of two Caribbean coral reef fishes: the hamlet, Hypoplectrus unicolor (Serranidae) and the striped parrotfish, Scarus iserti (Scaridae). Both fishes produce distinctive sounds while broadcasting gametes in midwater. H. unicolor produces sounds via muscle stimulation of the swimbladder. Fin movements among group spawning S. iserti produce hydrodynamic noise. Although reproductive behaviors of these two species have been previously studied in detail, the association of sounds with mating is new. The mating sounds cannot be easily detected by human hearing underwater but are recordable using a hydrophone. The sounds are distinct and recognizable enough to allow counting and acoustic mapping of mating events in these species.

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Lobel, P.S. Sounds produced by spawning fishes. Environ Biol Fish 33, 351–358 (1992).

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Key words

  • Hypolectrus
  • Scarus
  • Serranidae
  • Scaridae Fish spawning
  • Underwater acoustics