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New bioacoustic article in Environ. Biol. Fish.

Subject: New bioacoustic article in Environ. Biol. Fish.
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 11:12:09 +0100
Karen P. Maruska and Allen F. Mensinger (2009): Acoustic characteristics and
variations in grunt vocalizations in the oyster toadfish Opsanus tau.
Environ. Biol. Fish. 84(3), 325-337.

Abstract: Acoustic communication is critical for reproductive success in the
oyster toadfish Opsanus tau. While previous studies have examined the
acoustic characteristics, behavioral context, geographical variation, and
seasonality of advertisement boatwhistle sound production, there is limited
information on the grunt or other non-advertisement vocalizations in this
species. This study continuously monitored sound production in toadfish
maintained in an outdoor habitat for four months to identify and
characterize grunt vocalizations, compare them with boatwhistles, and test
for relationships between the incidence of grunt vocalizations, sound
characteristics and environmental parameters. Oyster toadfish produced
grunts in response to handling, and spontaneous single (70% of all grunts),
doublet (10%), and trains of grunts (20%) throughout the May to September
study period. Grunt types varied in pulse structure, duration, and frequency
components, and were shorter and of lower fundamental frequency than the
pulse repetition rate of boatwhistles. Higher water temperatures were
correlated with a greater number of grunt emissions, higher fundamental
frequencies, and shorter sound durations. The number of grunts per day was
also positively correlated with daylength and maximum tidal amplitude
differences (previously entrained) associated with full and new moons, thus
providing the first demonstration of semilunar vocalization rhythms in the
oyster toadfish. These data provide new information on the acoustic
repertoire and the environmental factors correlated with sound production in
the toadfish, and have important implications for seasonal acoustic
communication in this model vocal fish.

For reprints please contact Karen P. Maruska (Email: 

Kind regards


Dr. Sonja Amoser
Steinrieglstraße 286
3400 Weidlingbach

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