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Male-mediated species recognition among African weakly electric fishes

  • Effective communication among sympatric species is often instrumental for behavioural isolation, where the failure to successfully discriminate between potential mates could lead to less fit hybrid offspring. Discrimination between con- and heterospecifics tends to occur more often in the sex that invests more in offspring production, i.e. females, but males may also mediate reproductive isolation. In this study, we show that among two Campylomormyrus Africanweakly electric fish species, males preferentially associate with conspecific females during choice tests using live fish as stimuli, i.e. when all sensory modalities potentially used for communication were present. We then conducted playback experiments to determine whether the species-specific electric organ discharge (EOD) used for electrocommunication serves as the cue for this conspecific association preference. Interestingly, only C. compressirostris males associated significantly more with the conspecific EOD waveform when playback stimuli were provided, while no suchEffective communication among sympatric species is often instrumental for behavioural isolation, where the failure to successfully discriminate between potential mates could lead to less fit hybrid offspring. Discrimination between con- and heterospecifics tends to occur more often in the sex that invests more in offspring production, i.e. females, but males may also mediate reproductive isolation. In this study, we show that among two Campylomormyrus Africanweakly electric fish species, males preferentially associate with conspecific females during choice tests using live fish as stimuli, i.e. when all sensory modalities potentially used for communication were present. We then conducted playback experiments to determine whether the species-specific electric organ discharge (EOD) used for electrocommunication serves as the cue for this conspecific association preference. Interestingly, only C. compressirostris males associated significantly more with the conspecific EOD waveform when playback stimuli were provided, while no such association preference was observed in C. tamandua males. Given our results, the EOD appears to serve, in part, as a male-mediated pre-zygotic isolation mechanism among sympatric species. However, the failure of C. tamandua males to discriminate between con- and heterospecific playback discharges suggests that multiple modalities may be necessary for species recognition in some African weakly electric fish species.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Rebecca NagelORCiDGND, Frank Kirschbaum, Jacob Engelmann, Volker Hofmann, Felix Pawelzik, Ralph TiedemannORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-425016
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-42501
ISSN:1866-8372
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (645)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/02/22
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/02/22
Tag:Campylomormyrus; communication; electric fishes; pre-zygotic isolation; species recognition
Issue:645
Pagenumber:8
Source:Royal Society Open Science 5 (2018), Art. 170443 DOI 10.1098/rsos.170443
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik / 600 Technik, Technologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International