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Modifications in call characteristics and sonic apparatus morphology during puberty in Ophidion rochei (Actinopterygii: Ophidiidae)
Loïc, K.; Boyle, K.; Bolen, G.; Dragicevic, B; Dulcic, J; Parmentier, E. (2014). Modifications in call characteristics and sonic apparatus morphology during puberty in Ophidion rochei (Actinopterygii: Ophidiidae). J. Morphol. (1931) 275(6): 650-660.
In: Journal of Morphology (1931). The Wistar Institute Press/Wiley: Philadelphia, Pa . ISSN 0362-2525, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 275014 [ OMA ]

    Ophidiiformes [WoRMS]; Ophidion rochei Müller, 1845 [WoRMS]; Pisces [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    acoustic; allometry; communication; fish; morphology; Ophidiiformes

Authors  Top 
  • Loïc, K., more
  • Boyle, K., more
  • Bolen, G.
  • Dragicevic, B.
  • Dulcic, J.
  • Parmentier, E., more

    Juveniles, females, and males of Ophidion rochei share similar external morphology, probably because they are mainly active in the dark, which reduces the role of visual cues. Their internal sonic apparatuses, however, are complex: three pairs of sonic muscles, and highly modified vertebrae and ribs are involved in sound production. The sonic apparatus of males differs from juveniles and females in having larger swimbladder plates (modified ribs associate with the swimbladder wall) and sonic muscles, a modified swimbladder shape and a mineralized structure called the “rocker bone” in front of the swimbladder. All of these male traits appear at the onset of sexual maturation. This article investigates the relationship between morphology and sounds in male O. rochei of different sizes. Despite their small size range total length (133–170 mm TL), the five specimens showed pronounced differences in sound-production apparatus morphology, especially in terms of swimbladder shape and rocker bone development. This observation was reinforced by the positive allometry measured for the rocker bone and the internal tube of the swimbladder. The differences in morphology were related to marked differences in sound characteristics (especially frequency and pulse duration). These results suggest that male calls carry information about the degree of maturity. Deprived of most visual cues, ophidiids probably have invested in other mechanisms to recognize and distinguish among individual conspecifics and between ophidiid species. As a result, their phenotypes are externally similar but internally very different. In these taxa, the great variability of the sound production apparatus means this complex system is a main target of environmental constraints.

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