Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 623–638 | Cite as

Acoustic signals of two toadfishes from Belize: Sanopus astrifer and Batrachoides gilberti (Batrachoididae)

  • Kathryn K. Mosharo
  • Phillip S. Lobel


The “boatwhistle” calls of Sanopus astrifer and Batrachoides gilberti, two toadfish species from Belize, are described for the first time. These descriptions add to the small number of toadfish species sounds known to date (6 out of 79 species). Both Belize toadfishes produced multiple notes per call, unlike most other toadfish species which produce a single-note call (with the exception of Opsanus beta). S. astrifer produced significantly more notes per call than B. gilberti (p < .05), and was recorded producing up to 7 notes, the highest number of notes per call of any toadfish species reported. Differences in the boatwhistle call between all species with available data are reviewed and it is hypothesized that phylogenetic relationships, morphology of the swimbladder, and evolutionary processes are factors that potentially influenced these differences.


Acoustic communication Bioacoustics Sound production Fish sounds Batrachoididae Opsanus tau 



This research has been supported by the Boston University Marine Program’s field course in Ichthyology, the Warren-McLeod Fellowship for Graduate Research in Marine Biology, and by grants from Conservation International’s Marine Management Area Science Project. We thank Dave Greenfield, Bruce Collette, Michael Fine, Ingrid Kaatz, and Aaron Rice for information and insight on toadfish acoustics, systematics and morphology. Field recordings were accomplished with the help of David Mann in 1993, Lisa Kerr Lobel and John E. Randall in 1999, and Burton Shank, Eli Romero, and Jamani Balderamos in 2007 and 2008.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston University Dept. of BiologyBostonUSA

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