Volume 72

Red Hind Epinephelus guttatus Vocal Repertoire Characterization, Behavior and Temporal Patterns

Zayas-Santiago, C.M; R.S. Appeldoorn; M.T. Schärer-Umpierre; J.J. Cruz-Motta
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 41-52

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Passive acoustic monitoring has been key to study groupers that produce courtship associated sounds (CAS) when they aggregate to spawn. This technique has revealed patterns of sound production during red hind (Epinephelus guttatus) spawning aggregations with extremely high temporal resolution. In particular, it has been shown that groupers can have a varied vocal repertoire, however, detailed studies of the number, types and periodicity of CAS are lacking. The purpose of this study was to characterize and understand in detail the CAS and other vocalizations in E. guttatus and their respective behavioral context, using a combination of field and laboratory studies. During the 2017 spawning season E. guttatus where held in a 5700-liter tank equipped with a low frequency acoustic recorder and video cameras. Acoustic recordings from a simultaneous spawning aggregation at a known E. guttatus spawning site were used to quantitatively characterize and compare the sound types recorded in captivity. Five sound types were characterized: four recorded in captivity and an additional one only recorded in the wild labeled ‘chorus’. These sounds consisted of variations and combinations of low frequency (50 - 450Hz) pulses, grunts and tones. Some types exhibited diel and lunar oscillations during the spawning season, which both field and captivity recordings peaked daily at 1800 AST and at 8 days after the full moon.

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