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Electrical Emissions in Gymnotus Carapo and Their Relation To Social Behavior

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1. The relation between the social behavior and the electrical emissions of Gymnotus carapo is examined. 2. Members of the species Gymnotus carapo approach certain sources of electrical stimuli and, in a statistically significant number of instances, assume a stance parallel to the plane from which the stimuli originate. 3. The approach and postural responses elicited by electrical cues resemble those observed when two fish, placed in the same tank, interact socially. 4. Electrical cues therefore appear to facilitate certain social interactions in Gymnotus carapo. 5. The character of electrical emission in Gymnotus carapo appears to change as a function of certain social interaction: a. Interaction resembling aggression is accompanied by brief increases in the frequency of emission. b. The increases in frequency appear to be linked to thrusting movements. c. Fish interacting with one another appear to lock into a common frequency more often than fish that are not in physical contact with one another. d. During social interaction, one of the two fish is occasionally observed to halt emissions altogether. 6. The exact significance of the social behavior observed in the context of the life history of Gymnotus carapo is unknown.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., U.S.A.

10.1163/156853970X00196
/content/journals/10.1163/156853970x00196
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853970x00196
1970-01-01
2016-12-04

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