Acoustic and visual adaptations to predationrisk: A predator affects communication in vocalfemale fish

Autor(en)
Isabelle Maiditsch, Friedrich Ladich
Abstrakt

Predation is an important ecological constraint that influences communication in animals. Fish respond to predators by adjusting their visual signaling behavior, but the responses in calling behavior in the presence of a visually detected predator are largely unknown. We hypothesize that fish will reduce visual and acoustic signaling including sound levels and avoid escalating fights in the presence of a predator. To test this we investigated dyadic contests in female croaking gouramis (Trichopsis vittata, Osphronemidae) in the presence and absence of a predator (Astronotus ocellatus, Cichlidae) in an adjoining tank. Agonistic behavior in T. vittata consists of lateral (visual) displays, antiparallel circling, and production of croaking sounds and may escalate to frontal displays. We analyzed the number and duration of lateral display bouts, the number, duration, sound pressure level, and dominant frequency of croaking sounds as well as contest outcomes. The number and duration of lateral displays decreased significantly in predator when compared with no-predator trials. Total number of sounds per contest dropped in parallel but no significant changes were observed in sound characteristics. In the presence of a predator, dyadic contests were decided or terminated during lateral displays and never escalated to frontal displays. The gouramis showed approaching behavior toward the predator between lateral displays. This is the first study supporting the hypothesis that predators reduce visual and acoustic signaling in a vocal fish. Sound properties, in contrast, did not change. Decreased signaling and the lack of escalating contests reduce the fish's conspicuousness and thus predation threat.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Journal
Current Zoology
Band
68
Seiten
149-157
Anzahl der Seiten
9
ISSN
1674-5507
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoab049
Publikationsdatum
06-2021
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106048 Tierphysiologie, 106054 Zoologie, 106051 Verhaltensbiologie
Schlagwörter
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/acoustic-and-visual-adaptations-to-predationrisk-a-predator-affects-communication-in-vocalfemale-fish(567a02fd-c95e-42ff-9921-b742623147a3).html