Simultaneous production of two kinds of sounds in relation with sonic mechanism in the boxfish Ostracion meleagris and O. cubicus

Abstract : In fishes, sonic abilities for communication purpose usually involve a single mechanism. We describe here the sonic mechanism and sounds in two species of boxfish, the spotted trunkfish Ostracion meleagris and the yellow boxfish Ostracion cubicus. the sonic mechanism utilizes a t-shaped swimbladder with a swimbladder fenestra and two separate sonic muscle pairs. extrinsic vertical muscles attach to the vertebral column and the swimbladder. Perpendicularly and below these muscles, longitudinal intrinsic muscles cover the swimbladder fenestra. sounds are exceptional since they are made of two distinct types produced in a sequence. In both species, humming sounds consist of long series (up to 45 s) of hundreds of regular low-amplitude pulses. Hums are often interspersed with irregular click sounds with an amplitude that is ten times greater in O. meleagris and forty times greater in O. cubicus. There is no relationship between fish size and many acoustic characteristics because muscle contraction rate dictates the fundamental frequency. We suggest that hums and clicks are produced by either separate muscles or by a combination of the two. The mechanism complexity supports an investment of boxfish in this communication channel and underline sounds as having important functions in their way of life.
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Eric Parmentier, Laura Solagna, Frédéric Bertucci, Michael L. Fine, Masanori Nakae, et al.. Simultaneous production of two kinds of sounds in relation with sonic mechanism in the boxfish Ostracion meleagris and O. cubicus. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-41198-x⟩. ⟨hal-02133038⟩

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