Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electric Fish Conduct Electric Duets In Aquatic Courtship

Date:
June 22, 2007
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that African electric fish couples not only use specific electrical signals to court but also engage in a sort of dueling "electric duet."

Cornell researchers have discovered that in the battle of the sexes, African electric fish couples not only use specific electrical signals to court but also engage in a sort of dueling "electric duet."

The study is the first to compare electrical and behavioral displays in breeding and nonbreeding Brienomyrus brachyistius, a type of mormyrid electric fish, which emit weak electric fields from a batterylike organ in their tails to sense their surroundings and communicate their species, sex and social status with other fish. It is also the first study to successfully sort signals in electric fish based on sex.

The research, which is the cover story in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, is authored by Carl D. Hopkins, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, and Ryan Wong '05, who conducted the study as an undergraduate for his senior honors thesis and is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas in Austin.

"Our study provides strong evidence that the 'rasp' [a certain electric signal] is a male advertisement call during courtship in this species," said Wong, noting that the males also serenade females with lower frequency "creaks."

The researchers developed custom software that offers new techniques for separating and documenting electrical pulses based on sex. They video recorded four pair of mating mormyrids (a feat in itself, since the species rarely breeds successfully in captivity) and identified nine common motor displays and 11 specific pulse sequences common to courtship and mating.

"Knowing the electrical and motor patterns during courtship allows for further exploration of such topics as mate choice and neural basis of pattern generation in these fish," explained Hopkins, noting that the next step in the research will be to decode the fish transmissions and unravel their meaning.

The study was funded in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Electric Fish Conduct Electric Duets In Aquatic Courtship." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620110858.htm>.
Cornell University. (2007, June 22). Electric Fish Conduct Electric Duets In Aquatic Courtship. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620110858.htm
Cornell University. "Electric Fish Conduct Electric Duets In Aquatic Courtship." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620110858.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins