Courtship and spawning sounds in bird wrasse Gomphosus varius and saddle wrasse Thalassoma duperrey

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Acoustic signals from the bird wrasse Gomphosus varius and saddle wrasse Thalassoma duperrey were recorded on coral reefs in Hawaii. Terminal phase males in both species emit two types of pulse trains (type I and type II). Type I pulses were produced during spawning and courtship, while type II pulses were associated only with courtship behaviours. Gomphosus varius type I pulses were of lower frequency than T. duperrey type I pulses (271 v. 840 Hz) and were of narrower band. Discriminant function analyses revealed interspecific differences between type I pulse trains and individual pulses of both types. This study is the first documentation of courtship and spawning sounds in sympatric labrids and shows divergence in acoustic signals.

Keywords: Labridae; acoustic signals; coral-reef fishes; reproductive behaviour; sound production

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, U.S.A

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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