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Sound production in two species of damselfishes (Pomacentridae): Plectroglyphidodon lacrymatus and Dascyllus aruanus

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Agonistic sounds of two pomacentrid species, Plectroglyphidodon lacrymatus and Dascyllus aruanus, were recorded in captivity. Plectroglyphidodon lacrymatus produced trains of 2–5 pops, each composed of 18–25 cycles, with an average duration of 56 ms; most energy ranged from c. 100 to 1000 Hz. Dascyllus aruanus produced pops and chirps. Pops were generally composed of a single pulse, with 2–14 peaks and an average duration of 6·7 ms. Pops contained energy >4 kHz, and peak frequency ranged from 680 to 1300 Hz. Chirps consisted of trains of 12–42 short pulses of three to six cycles, with durations varying from 0·6 to 1·27 ms; peak frequency varied from 3400 to 4100 Hz. Sound production in P. lacrymatus suggested that pomacentrids are derived from an ancestral taxon capable of sound production and that this capacity is a synapomorphy for the family. Although in the Pomacentridae, pops are typically composed of a single pulse, which is longer and higher pitched than chirps composed of a series of shorter pulses, D. aruanus chirps were higher pitched than its pops. Thus, acoustic variation in the genus Dascyllus is probably not more restricted than in the Pomacentridae.
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Keywords: Pomacentridae; bioacoustics; sound production

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Morphologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Institut de chimie, Bât. B6, Université de Liège, B-4000 Liège, Belgium and 2: Laboratory of Neuroethology and Bio-Acoustic, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2012, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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