In fish, social interactions are commonly accompanied by acoustic signalling. Males have been found to produce sounds in a large range of species, but female sounds have received considerably less attention. But even in males, there remain significant taxonomical gaps, e.g. in one of the largest fish families, the wrasses. Here, we investigate sound production in territorial males and females of the corkwing wrasse in a field study in Norway. We complemented an in-depth analysis of the visual and acoustic behavioural repertoire of territorial males by descriptions of female behaviours. Males as well as females produced sounds in courtship and agonistic contexts. We recorded four types of sounds and found significant differences between male and female sound properties. We hereby provide one of the first descriptions of sound production in wrasses and, to our knowledge, the first one to also investigate female sound production. Our study shows that wrasses are an underappreciated family when it comes to sound production. With a repertoire of four different calls, corkwing wrasses are remarkably versatile among fishes. Our results highlight the potential and importance of future research about sound communication in neglected taxa, and in both sexes.
Labridae, Symphodus melops, fish, sound production, courtship behaviour, agonistic behaviour