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Flight associated discharge pattern in a weakly electric fish gnathonemus petersii mormyridae teleostei



Flight associated discharge pattern in a weakly electric fish gnathonemus petersii mormyridae teleostei



Behaviour 59(1-2): 88-95



A G. petersii which is put into the tank of a Mormyrus rume, or of an electrically silenced G. petersii, displays a discharge rate which is only 1/4 (8 Hz) the rate exhibited by an attacking, territory-defending animal. In both instances, the variability of intervals is great. In contrast to the bimodal histogram of an attacking animal, the histogram of an inferior, fleeing fish displays only 1 mode. This mode is identical to the burst activity-mode of the resting histogram, and different from the swimming histogram mode. So the histogram displayed by an attacked and persecuted animal is significantly different from the histograms exhibited by isolated resting, isolated swimming, and attacking fish. During an attack-elicited escape reaction, G. petersii increases its discharge rate up to 55 Hz in a step-like fashion, while regularizing the length of successive intervals (fleeing signal). The step-like discharge rate increase is also shown by the receiver of an approach who does not move. This suggests that the step-like discharge rate increase, associated with the escape reaction, is not an incidental response to changed motor activity. The fleeing signal presumably is an incidental response to a vegetative reaction, or it may have the significance of a signal communicating a socially relevant message (e.g., threat).

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Accession: 005467779

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DOI: 10.1163/156853976x00488


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