Barking mad: The vocalisation of the John Dory, Zeus faber

Craig A. Radford, Rosalyn L Putland, Allen Mensinger

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Studies on the behavioural function of sounds are very rare within heterospecific interactions. John Dory (Zeus faber) is a solitary, predatory fish that produces sound when captured, but has not been documented to vocalize under natural conditions (i.e. in the wild). The present study provides the first in-situ recordings of John Dory vocalisations and correlates them to behavioural response of snapper (Pagrus auratus) a common species found through New Zealand. Vocalisations or barks', ranged between 200±600 Hz, with a peak frequency of 312 ± 10 Hz and averaged 139 ± 4 milliseconds in length. Baited underwater video (BUV) equipped with hydrophones determined that under natural conditions a John Dory vocalization induced an escape response in snapper present, causing them to exit the area opposite to the position of the John Dory. We speculate that the John Dory vocalisation may be used for territorial display towards both conspecifics and heterospecifics, asserting dominance in the area or heightening predatory status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0204647
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Radford et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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