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African weakly discharging electric fish (Mormyridae) use their self-generated electric signals and electroreceptive abilities for orientation and communication in the context of courtship and territorial interactions. This paper documents socially mediated changes in the electric organ discharge (EOD) of subadult Gnathonemus petersii under non-breeding environmental conditions. Increases in EOD duration and changes in the relative phase amplitudes occurred in dominant fish during same-sex (male–male, female–female) and opposite-sex interactions. Similar changes were also observed in fish that were restricted in their physical interactions, suggesting that direct contact is not necessary to induce dominance-typical EOD waveforms. The possible communicative functions of these changes are discussed.


This paper was published during postdoctoral Fellow/Associate work at Rutgers University, 2003-2006.

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