Sex Differences in Electric Signaling in an Electric Fish

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Jun 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4038, pp. 1035-1037
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4038.1035


The electric discharge of Sternopygus macrurus is distinctly different from the discharges of ten sympatric species of electric fish in Guyana, South America. Sternopygus is the first known example of a fish with sexually different electric discharges. Males and females differ in the steady-state frequency of their discharges, and males produce variations in their discharge during courtship. Playback experiments demonstrate that species and sex differences in electric discharges have communicative significance.

Stay Connected to Science