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J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 Aug;124(2):1332-8. doi: 10.1121/1.2945712.

Courtship and agonistic sounds by the cichlid fish Pseudotropheus zebra.

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  • 1Departamento de Biologia Animal e Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Bloco C2 Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.


Courtship and agonistic interactions in an African cichlid species present a richer diversity of acoustic stimuli than previously reported. Male cichlids, including those from the genus Pseudotropheus (P.), produce low frequency short pulsed sounds during courtship. Sounds emitted by P. zebra males in the early stages of courtship (during quiver) were found to be significantly longer and with a higher number of pulses than sounds produced in later stages. During agonistic intrasexual quiver displays, males produced significantly longer sounds with more pulses than females. Also, male sounds had a shorter duration and pulse period in courtship than in male-male interactions. Taken together, these results show that the acoustic repertoire of this species is larger than what was previously known and emphasize the importance of further research exploiting the role of acoustic stimuli in intra- and interspecific communication in African cichlids.

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