Sonic Cichlids

By Lobel, Phillip S & J.G. Garner, I.M. Kaatz, A.N. Rice

The Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of Cichlid Fishes. Abate, M.E., Noakes, D.L.G. (Editors.), pp. 443-502 20-Sep-2021. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-024-2080-7_13


" Bioacoustics has become a key feature of cichlid behavioral studies over the last 20 years, due in large part to new technologies and software. The hypothesis that some cichlid species produce species-specific sounds is gaining support with data from several studies. Sounds are specific to behavioral context for many species. Cichlids are advanced teleost fishes possessing a complex pharyngeal jaw. This morphological feature has been proposed as the key functional innovation responsible for the evolutionary success and explosive adaptive radiation of the group. This evolutionary success has been mostly attributed to their expanded adaptability to process a wide variety of food types due to the capability of thoroughly grinding food in the pharyngeal apparatus, an ability that most other fishes lack. The evidence regarding the role of the pharyngeal jaw complex in sound production is evaluated, and suggests that this same morphology enables cichlids to produce a complex and varied acoustic repertoire. Although, the sonic mechanism may be more complex morphologically than just the pharyngeals clacking. More studies are needed to carefully document the sounds correlated to specific behaviors of cichlids and to statistically examine the species specificity of sympatric species sounds. Future research is needed that experimentally tests the response of female fish to acoustic playback combined with visual and chemical cues in order to determine how critical sound communication is to the sympatric evolution of cichlid species "

Classification: Physiology and diseases.

Language: English

Lobel, Phillip S & J.G. Garner, I.M. Kaatz, A.N. Rice. 2021. "Sonic Cichlids". The Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of Cichlid Fishes. Abate, M.E., Noakes, D.L.G. (Editors.). pp. 443-502. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-024-2080-7_13 (crc11697) (abstract)