Electric fish conduct electric duets in aquatic courtship

Cornell researchers have discovered that in the battle of the sexes, African electric fish couples not only use specific electrical signals to court but also engage in a sort of dueling "electric duet."

The study is the first to compare electrical and behavioral displays in breeding and nonbreeding Brienomyrus brachyistius, a type of mormyrid electric fish, which emit weak electric fields from a batterylike organ in their tails to sense their surroundings and communicate their species, sex and social status with other fish. It is also the first study to successfully sort signals in electric fish based on sex.

The research, which is the cover story in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, is authored by Carl D. Hopkins, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, and Ryan Wong '05, who conducted the study as an undergraduate for his senior honors thesis and is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas in Austin.

"Our study provides strong evidence that the 'rasp' [a certain electric signal] is a male advertisement call during courtship in this species," said Wong, noting that the males also serenade females with lower frequency "creaks."

The researchers developed custom software that offers new techniques for separating and documenting electrical pulses based on sex. They video recorded four pair of mating mormyrids (a feat in itself, since the species rarely breeds successfully in captivity) and identified nine common motor displays and 11 specific pulse sequences common to courtship and mating.

"Knowing the electrical and motor patterns during courtship allows for further exploration of such topics as mate choice and neural basis of pattern generation in these fish," explained Hopkins, noting that the next step in the research will be to decode the fish transmissions and unravel their meaning.


Contact: Press Relations Office
Cornell University News Service

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Electric fish shed light on ways the brain directs movement
2. Electrical activity alters language used by nerve cells
3. Electric fish in Africa could be example of evolution in action
4. Electrical stimulation boosts stroke recovery
5. Electrical engineer works on personalizing medical treatment
6. Semiconductor membrane mimics biological behavior of ion channels
7. Interim analysis of anti-cancer vaccine, BiovaxID, to be conducted
8. Innovative smallpox vaccine research study to be conducted at Case Medical Center
9. Plastic with changeable conductivity developed by chemical engineer
10. The Parkinsons Institute to conduct Phase III Clinical Trial of creatine for Parkinsons disease
11. Parents genes, not parents arguing, may cause childrens conduct problems

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient ... Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. ... among health care professionals to enhance the patient care experience ... and other health care professionals to help women who have ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced ... to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B ... to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held ... Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... this year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who ... be presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: