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Electric pulse characteristics can enable species recognition in African weakly electric fish species

  • Communication is key to a wide variety of animal behaviours and multiple modalities are often involved in this exchange of information from sender to receiver. The communication of African weakly electric fish, however, is thought to be predominantly unimodal and is mediated by their electric sense, in which species-specific electric organ discharges (EODs) are generated in a context-dependent and thus variable sequence of pulse intervals (SPI). While the primary function of the electric sense is considered to be electrolocation, both of its components likely carry information regarding identity of the sender. However, a clear understanding of their contribution to species recognition is incomplete. We therefore analysed these two electrocommunication components (EOD waveform and SPI statistics) in two sympatric mormyrid Campylomormyrus species. In a set of five playback conditions, we further investigated which components may drive interspecific recognition and discrimination. While we found that both electrocommunication componentsCommunication is key to a wide variety of animal behaviours and multiple modalities are often involved in this exchange of information from sender to receiver. The communication of African weakly electric fish, however, is thought to be predominantly unimodal and is mediated by their electric sense, in which species-specific electric organ discharges (EODs) are generated in a context-dependent and thus variable sequence of pulse intervals (SPI). While the primary function of the electric sense is considered to be electrolocation, both of its components likely carry information regarding identity of the sender. However, a clear understanding of their contribution to species recognition is incomplete. We therefore analysed these two electrocommunication components (EOD waveform and SPI statistics) in two sympatric mormyrid Campylomormyrus species. In a set of five playback conditions, we further investigated which components may drive interspecific recognition and discrimination. While we found that both electrocommunication components are species-specific, the cues necessary for species recognition differ between the two species studied. While the EOD waveform and SPI were both necessary and sufficient for species recognition in C. compressirostris males, C. tamandua males apparently utilize other, non-electric modalities. Mapped onto a recent phylogeny, our results suggest that discrimination by electric cues alone may be an apomorphic trait evolved during a recent radiation in this taxon.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Rebecca NagelORCiDGND, Frank Kirschbaum, Volker Hofmann, Jacob Engelmann, Ralph TiedemannORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-417577
Parent Title (English):Scientific Reports
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (470)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/10/10
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/10/10
Tag:Acoustic-Signals; Convergent Evolution; Dwelling Atlantic Mollies; Hypopomus-Occidentalis; Mormyrid Fish; Organ Discharge Patterns; Phylogenetic-Relationships; Poecili-Mexicana; Pollimyrus-Isidori; Sexual Selection
Pagenumber:12
Source:Scientific Reports 8 (2018) Art. 10799 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29132-z
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik
5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle