Pectoral sound generation in the blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus

J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2015 Mar;201(3):305-15. doi: 10.1007/s00359-014-0970-7. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Abstract

Catfishes produce pectoral stridulatory sounds by "jerk" movements that rub ridges on the dorsal process against the cleithrum. We recorded sound synchronized with high-speed video to investigate the hypothesis that blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus produce sounds by a slip-stick mechanism, previously described only in invertebrates. Blue catfish produce a variably paced series of sound pulses during abduction sweeps (pulsers) although some individuals (sliders) form longer duration sound units (slides) interspersed with pulses. Typical pulser sounds are evoked by short 1-2 ms movements with a rotation of 2°-3°. Jerks excite sounds that increase in amplitude after motion stops, suggesting constructive interference, which decays before the next jerk. Longer contact of the ridges produces a more steady-state sound in slides. Pulse pattern during stridulation is determined by pauses without movement: the spine moves during about 14 % of the abduction sweep in pulsers (~45 % in sliders) although movement appears continuous to the human eye. Spine rotation parameters do not predict pulse amplitude, but amplitude correlates with pause duration suggesting that force between the dorsal process and cleithrum increases with longer pauses. Sound production, stimulated by a series of rapid movements that set the pectoral girdle into resonance, is caused by a slip-stick mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Animal Communication*
  • Animal Fins / anatomy & histology
  • Animal Fins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Catfishes / anatomy & histology
  • Catfishes / physiology*
  • Movement*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Sound*
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording