Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2022-09-23

Chub movement is attracted by the collision sounds associated with spawning activities

Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan. Department of Aquatic Biosciences, National Chiayi University, Chiayi, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan. Department of Microbiology, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan. Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 5 Center of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan
Pisces Spawning behavior egg eater environmental sound Opsariichthys Zacco


Cyprinids (carps, chubs and minnows) possess well-developed hearing and high sensitivity to sound pressure. The sensitive hearing may assist cyprinids with searching for food, territory defense, and mating behavior. Many paired fishes violently shake in sand and gravel while spawning in rivers. However, no study has examined the ecological importance of the collision sound made by the behavior. This study examined whether cohabitated chubs (Opsariichthys evolans and Zacco platypus) use the collision sound as a signal to locate spawning events so they can be a male satellite or egg eater. Three types of sounds (i.e., collision sound, music noise and ambient noise) were played with or without jerkbaits at the midstream of the Keelung River, Taiwan during the spawning season in 2018 and 2019. Generalized linear mixed models were then built to examine the effects of the sound types and the presence of jerkbaits on the number of individuals that the two chubs attracted. Results showed significantly different levels of attractiveness among the three sound types, with the collision sound attracting most fishes, including both females and males, followed by music noise and ambient noise. The presence of jerkbaits increased the number of fishes attracted, but the effect was only statistically marginally significant. These results suggest that the collision sound as an acoustic signal may be more important than a visual signal for the chubs to locate spawning events of other mating pairs, probably because of the longer transmission distance of the former. The present study demonstrates the ecological meanings of the collision sounds made in association with spawning activities of the chubs and implies that the native chub's spawning activities may be affected by the introduced Z. platypus. More studies on the interactions between these cohabitated chubs will benefit the conservation of native chubs.



  1. Chen, I.-S., Wu, J.H. & Hsu, C.H. (2008) The taxonomy and phylogeny of Candidia (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from Taiwan, with description of a new species and comments on a new genus. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 19, 203–214.
    Chen, I.-S., Wu, J.H. & Huang, S.P. (2009) The taxonomy and phylogeny of the cyprinid genus Opsariichthys Bleeker (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from Taiwan, with description of a new species. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 86, 165–183.
    Chuang, L.C., Lin, Y.S. & Liang, S.H. (2006) Ecomorphological comparison and habitat preference of 2 cyprinid fishes, Varicorhinus barbatulus and Candidia barbatus, in Hapen Creek of northern Taiwan. Zoological Studies, 45, 114–123.
    Erisman, B.E. & Rowell, T.J. (2017) A sound worth saving: acoustic characteristics of a massive fish spawning aggregation. Biology Letters, 13.
    Hawkins, A.D. & Myrberg, A.A. (1983) Hearing and sound communication underwater. In: Lewis, B. (Ed.) Bioacoustics: a comparative approach. Academic, London, pp. 493.
    Hawkins, A.D. & Popper, A.N. (2018) Directional hearing and sound source localization by fishes. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144, 3329.
    Holt, D.E. & Johnston, C.E. (2009) Signaling without the risk of illegitimate receivers: do predators respond to the acoustic signals of Cyprinella (Cyprinidae)? Environmental Biology of Fishes, 84, 347–357.
    Huang, S.P., Wang, F.Y. & Wang, T.Y. (2017) Molecular phylogeny of the Opsariichthys group (Teleostei: Cypriniformes) based on complete mitochondrial genomes. Zoological Studies, 56, e40.
    Katano, O. (1985) Aggressive behavior and dominance relationships of the dark chub, Zacco temmincki with special reference to their individual recognition. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 32, 225–238.
    Katano, O. (1990a) Dynamic relationships between the dominance of male dark chub, Zacco temmincki, and their acquisition of females. Animal Behaviour, 40, 1018–1034.
    Katano, O. (1990b) Seasonal, sexual and individual variations in gonad weight and secondary sexual characters of the dark chub, Zacco temmincki. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 37, 246–255.
    Katano, O. (1992a) Cannibalism on eggs by dark chub, Zacco temmincki (Temminck and Schlegel) (Cyprinidae). Journal of Fish Biology, 41, 655–661.
    Katano, O. (1992b) Spawning tactics of paired males of the dark chub, Zacco temmincki, reflect potential fitness costs of satellites. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 35, 343–350.
    Katano, O. (1994) Aggressive interactions between the dark chub, Zacco temmincki, and the pale chub, Zacco platypus, in relation to their feeding behavior. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 40, 441–449.
    Katano, O. (1998) Growth of dark chub, Zacco temmincki (Cyprinidae), with a discussion of sexual size differences. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 52, 305–312.
    Katano, O. & Maekawa, K. (1995) Individual differences in egg cannibalism in female dark chub (Pisces, Cyprinidae). Behaviour, 132, 237–253.
    Ladich, F. & Fay, R.R. (2013) Auditory evoked potential audiometry in fish. Biology and Fisheries, 23, 317–364.
    Liao, N.L., Huang, S.P. & Wang, T.Y. (2020) Interspecific mating behavior between introduced Zacco platypus and native Opsariichthys evolans in Taiwan. Zoological Studies, 59, e6.
    Lobel, P.S. (1992) Sounds produced by spawning fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 33, 351–358.
    Ma, G.C., Tsao, H.S., Lu, H.P. & Yu, H.T. (2006a) AFLPs congruent with morphological differentiation of Asian common minnow Zacco (Pisces: Cyprinidae) in Taiwan. Zoologica Scripta, 35, 341–351.
    Ma, G.C., Watanabe, K., Tsao, H.S. & Yu, H.T. (2006b) Mitochondrial phylogeny reveals the artificial introduction of the pale chub Zacco platypus (Cyprinidae) in Taiwan. Ichthyological Research, 53, 323–329.
    Manica, A. (2002) Filial cannibalism in teleost fish. Biological Reviews, 77, 261–277.
    Sisneros, J.A. & Rogers, P.H. (2016) Directional hearing and sound source localization in fishes. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 877, 121–155.
    Wang, F.Y., Chung, W.S., Yan, H.Y. & Tzeng, C.S. (2008) Adaptive evolution of cone opsin genes in two colorful cyprinids, Opsariichthys pachycephalus and Candidia barbatus. Vision Research, 48, 1695–1704.
    Wang, H.Y., Lee, S.C. & Yu, M.J. (1997) Genetic evidence to clarify the systematic status of the genera Zacco and Candidia (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Zoological Studies, 36, 170–177.
    Wang, J.T., Liu, M.C. & Fang, L.S. (1995) The reproductive biology of an endemic cyprinid, Zacco pachycephalus, in Taiwan. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 43, 135–143.
    White, T.E., Latty, T. & Umbers, K.D.L. (2022) The exploitation of sexual signals by predators: a meta-analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289, 20220444.
    Yan, J.H., Lue, K.Y., Chen, Y.S. & Jeng, J.K. (1995) The study on the reproductive ecology of Zacco barbata in Ha-Pen Creek. Biological Bulletin of National Taiwan Normal University, 30, 69–81.