Synchronous audio-video recordings were made of free-living Dascyllus albisella on coral reefs at Johnston Atoll, Central Pacific Ocean. Males produced distinct and consistent sounds during courtship and mating. The courtship sound is a well-known feature of pomacentrid behavior, and is produced during the signal jump. Male D. albisella also produced a mating sound, which has not been previously described for any other pomacentrid. The mating sound is produced as the male quivers during spawning. The courtship sound differed from the mating sound by having a greater number of pulses (6±4 vs. 3±1, mean ±SD) and a longer duration (282±57 vs. 127±45 msec). The courtship sounds of larger males were lower in frequency than those of smaller males (r2=0.64, power regression). The median dominant frequency of small males (20 to 40 g) was 390 Hz (n=12 males), compared to 334 Hz (n=7 males) for large males (40 to 60 g).
sound production, damselfish, Pomacentridae, Dascyllus albisella, spawning