Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 97, Issue 11, pp 1207–1219 | Cite as

Sound production and associated behaviours in blacktail shiner Cyprinella venusta: a comparison between field and lab

  • D. E. Holt
  • C. E. Johnston


Acoustic signals and associated behaviours of a number of fishes in the genus Cyprinella have been investigated and described in detail, but due to logistics, these studies have been done in the laboratory. We used C. venusta as a model for evaluating potential differences in acoustic signals in field versus laboratory settings. In addition to this analysis, a detailed description of acoustic signals and associated behaviours was produced. We found that males were the only sex to vocalize and did so during reproductively associated behaviours such as courtship, aggression, and spawning. Sounds were similar in gross structure to most other species of Cyprinella in that they were composed of bursts and knocks, but differed in a number of signal parameters including acoustic frequency, pulse duration, pulse period, and pulse rate. One of the more striking findings was that the acoustic frequency distributions of both growls and knocks in C. venusta were bi-modal, a characteristic not mentioned for any other species in the genus Cyprinella. Sounds recorded in the laboratory were also found to be significantly different from those recorded in the field.


Acoustics Behaviour Field recordings Fish Sound frequency Laboratory Reproduction 



We would like to thank members of the Fish Biodiversity Lab at Auburn University, including K. Bolton, K. Dowling, K. Goodson, H. Haley, M. Scarbrough, and P. Noel for their help with collecting specimens and assistance in the field. This research was approved by the Auburn University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Auburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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