Original Publication Date
Date of Submission
The oyster toadfish, Opsanus tau (Linnaeus), produces two calls: an agonistic grunt and a boatwhistle associated with courtship (Fish 1954; Tavolga 1958,1960; Gray and Winn 1961). The boatwhistle is produced only by males on nests (Gray and Winn 1961) and is endogenously driven as well as influenced by calling of surrounding males (Winn 1964, 1967, 1972; Fish 1972). A toadfish, not hearing other males, may still boatwhistle for long periods and attract a female. Although toadfish may be influenced to call by the calling of adjacent males, one would assume the circadian patterning of the boatwhistle to be influenced by photoperiod and the fish's behavioral strategy relative to it. Additionally, the rate of calling may be a key to a male's internal state. Calling rate has been manipulated experimentally (Winn 1967, 1972; Fish 1972; Fish and Offutt 1972), but no one has studied the calling rate of undisturbed individual fish. This note is a preliminary attempt to look at these twin problems (when and how fast toadfish call) by recording the boatwhistles of individual males on their nests.
Is Part Of
VCU Biology Publications
Fishery Bulletin research note.
Also available at http://fishbull.noaa.gov/75-4/fine.pdf