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Influence of water temperature on the electric organ discharge (EOD) of the weakly electric fish Marcusenius cyprinoides (Mormyridae)



Influence of water temperature on the electric organ discharge (EOD) of the weakly electric fish Marcusenius cyprinoides (Mormyridae)



Journal of Experimental Biology 74: 133-150



1. The influence of different water temperatures on the electric organ discharge (EOD) of a mormyrid fish Marcusenius cyprinoïdes was studied. The range of the water temperatures was fixed according to the seasonal temperature variations of the rivers in Central Africa, the natural habitat of this species. 2. The EOD activity was characterized using the following parameters: mean EOD rate, EOD pattern in the form of Interpulse Interval Histograms (IIH), IIH range, and shortest pulse interval. These parameters remained constant during control experiments at constant temperature (27 degrees C) for 4 days. 3. The mean EOD rate increases with increasing water temperatures. The lowest mean EOD rate is always found at 17 degrees C, the highest between 26 and 33 degrees C. The characteristics of the IIH are modified by stepwise temperature increases. These IIH show during high temperatures (26-33 degrees C) similar patterns to those previously observed during high level motor activity and excitement. The IIH range diminishes with stepwise temperature increases. The shortest pulse interval has a negative, linear correlation with water temperature. 4. The possible role of water temperature in the reproduction of the mormyrids is discussed. The high discharge rate of M. cyprinoïdes produced by high water temperatures during the rainy season could serve to improve the resolution of the electroreceptors during this period.

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Accession: 021196341

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PMID: 670870


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