Chirping and asymmetric jamming avoidance responses in the electric fish <i>Distocyclus conirostris</i>.

TitleChirping and asymmetric jamming avoidance responses in the electric fish Distocyclus conirostris.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalThe Journal of experimental biology
IssuePt 17
Date Published2018

Electrosensory systems of weakly electric fish must accommodate competing demands of sensing the environment (electrolocation) and receiving social information (electrocommunication). The jamming avoidance response (JAR) is a behavioral strategy thought to reduce electrosensory interference from conspecific signals close in frequency. We used playback experiments to characterize electric organ discharge frequency (EODf), chirping behavior and the JAR of , a gregarious electric fish species. EODs of had low frequencies (∼80-200 Hz) that shifted in response to playback stimuli. Fish consistently lowered EODf in response to higher-frequency stimuli but inconsistently raised or lowered EODf in response to lower-frequency stimuli. This led to jamming avoidance or anti-jamming avoidance, respectively. We compare these behaviors with those of closely related electric fish ( and ) and suggest that the JAR may have additional social functions and may not solely minimize the deleterious effects of jamming, as its name suggests.

Short TitleJ Exp Biol
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