First evidence of fish larvae producing sounds

Erica Staaterman, Claire B. Paris, Andrew S. Kough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The acoustic ecology of marine fishes has traditionally focused on adults, while overlooking the early life-history stages. Here, we document the first acoustic recordings of pre-settlement stage grey snapper larvae (Lutjanus griseus). Through a combination of in situ and unprovoked laboratory recordings, we found that L. griseus larvae are acoustically active during the night, producing 'knock' and 'growl' sounds that are spectrally and temporally similar to those of adults. While the exact function and physiological mechanisms of sound production in fish larvae are unknown, we suggest that these sounds may enable snapper larvae to maintain group cohesion at night when visual cues are reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20140643
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Acoustic ecology
  • Bioacoustics
  • Lutjanus
  • Orientation
  • Reef fish larvae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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