Acoustical Behavior of Coral Reef Fishes

Phillip S. Lobel, Ingrid M. Kaatz and Aaron N. Rice

in Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264335
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947979 | DOI:
Acoustical Behavior of Coral Reef Fishes

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Sound travels farther and faster in water than in air. Therefore, the introduction of artificial noise can interfere substantially with reproductive behaviors that include the production and reception of auditory signals. Sound production associated with reproductive behavior among marine fishes serves to synchronize the behavior of potential mates, thereby leading to successful fertilization. This chapter examines the role played by sound production and acoustic communication in the reproductive biology of many marine fish species. It summarizes findings concerning bioacoustics in shallow, tropical marine fishes (that is, coral reef fishes) and outlines the fish families known for sound production. The hope is that this status report will encourage further research in fish acoustic communication and underwater acoustic ecology. The evidence so far indicates that many coral reef fishes are most acoustically active during reproduction. It seems that some species produce sounds only when courting and mating, and not at all at other times.

Keywords: marine fishes; coral reef fishes; bioacoustics; sound production; acoustic ecology; reproductive behavior; fertilization; acoustic communication; reproductive biology; courting

Chapter.  24697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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