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Differential investment in acoustic communication during social interactions in two closely-related sand goby species

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image of Behaviour

Communication signals provide key information for conspecific recognition, mate choice and rival assessment. The painted goby Pomatoschistus pictus and the common goby P. microps are two closely-related sand goby species, often sympatric and with an overlapping breeding season. In this study we staged male–male and male–female interactions and compared visual, tactile and acoustic behaviour in both species. Sound production in the common goby is here accounted for the first time. We observed some differences in visual behaviour and a striking divergence in the use of tactile and acoustic communication during courtship and agonistic interactions. We further describe differences in drumming signals with social context in the painted goby. This study suggests a divergence in communication in two closely-related sand goby species and emphasizes the importance of further research concerning the role of multimodal communication in closely-related species.

Affiliations: 1: cUnidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia, Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada — Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal; 2: dFacoltà di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali, Dipartimento di Biologia — CSEE, University of Trieste, Italy; 3: aDepartamento de Biologia Animal e Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. Bloco C2, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal


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