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Sound Communication During the Reproductive Behavior of Notropis analostanus (Pisces: Cyprinidae)

John F. Stout
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 94, No. 2 (Oct., 1975), pp. 296-325
DOI: 10.2307/2424428
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2424428
Page Count: 30
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Sound Communication During the Reproductive Behavior of Notropis analostanus (Pisces: Cyprinidae)
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Abstract

Field and laboratory observations were made on the reproductive behavior, ecology and sounds produced by males of Notropis analostanus during reproductive behavior. Based on these observations, experiments were performed on sound communication during the reproductive behavior of this species. Reproductive activities began in middle to late May when the males set up territories around a suitable egg site. The males defended these territories by chasing and fighting behavior which included the lateral threat display. During this aggressive behavior, "single knocks" and "rapid series of knocks" were produced. Courtship behavior began when a female approached the territory and the male swam out to her. If the female did not swim away, the male swam in circles around her and then swam to the egg site where it would perform "solo-spawning" motions. Spawning was accomplished when the female followed the male to the egg site and assumed a spawning position with the male in a dorsolateral position to her. During the courtship behavior the male produced "single knocks" and "purrs." The functions of sounds produced by male Notropis analostanus during reproductive behavior were studied by playing back these sounds under experimental conditions designed to clarify their functions as communicative signals. The following conclusions were reached: 1. The "single knocks" were not effective in influencing aggressive behavior of males nor did they promote courtship. 2. The "rapid series of knocks" stimulated aggressive behavior by a dominant male and inhibited the entry of a submissive male into the territory. 3. The "rapid series of knocks" inhibited the courtship behavior of the male and reduced cooperation by the female during courtship. 4. The "purrs" increased the courtship behavior of the male and promoted the cooperation of the female during courtship.

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