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Aspects of sound communication in the pearlfish Carapus boraborensis and Carapus homei (Carapidae)
Lagardère, J.-P.; Millot, S.; Parmentier, E. (2005). Aspects of sound communication in the pearlfish Carapus boraborensis and Carapus homei (Carapidae). J. Exp. Zool., Part A Comp. Exp. Biol. 303A(12): 1066-1074.
In: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Comparative Experimental Biology. Wiley-Liss: Hoboken, NJ. ISSN 1548-8969, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Lagardère, J.-P.
  • Millot, S.
  • Parmentier, E., more

    Several species of Carapidae are known to have symbiotic relationships with marine invertebrates. The two most common species in Moorea (French Polynesia), Carapus boraborensis and Carapus homei, undergo conspecific and heterospecific encounters in the same holothurian host during which they produce sounds. Another characteristic of these fish lies in their abilities to produce sounds. The objective of this study was dual: (1) to seek if there was a sexual difference in the sounds produced by C. boraborensis; (2) to seek if there was a difference in the sound emissions between heterospecific and conspecific encounters. In each trial, sounds were only recorded when one individual entered the sea cucumber that was already occupied. In encounters, sounds were structured in regular pulse emissions whose pulse lengths and periods allowed to significantly distinguish each species, as well as both sexes in C. boraborensis. In the latter species, results show for the first time that temporal features of the emitted sounds can have a functional importance in sex identification. In heterospecific encounters, sounds were reduced 68% of the time to a single pulse emission and there was a modification in the pulse length of each species: it shortens in C. homei and it lengthens in C. boraborensis. It highlights that both carapids are able to adapt their sounds to the facing species. Because a modification of the sound appears to be done at the first emission, it is supposed that recognition precedes the sound emission.

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