Males of two freshwater Italian gobies, the common goby, Padogobius martensii and the panzarolo goby, Knipowitschia punctatissima, emit trains of low-frequency pulses, i.e. 'drumming' sounds, in the presence of a ripe female in the nest. In P. martensii the drumming sound is usually followed by a tonal. sound (complex sound). Examination of the pulse structure suggests that these sounds are produced by muscles acting on the swimbladder. Both species exhibited high emission rates of spawning sounds, especially before the beginning of oviposition. Moreover, spawning sound production ceased only after the female abandoned the nest, which always occurred at the end of oviposition. This is the first study reporting the production among fishes of distinct sounds during protracted spawning. Unlike sounds produced just before mating by fishes with plank tonic or demersal zygotes, the spawning sound production of these gobies does not function to coordinate mating events in the nest. The presence of a two-part vocalization by male P. martensii even suggests a functional dichotomy of spawning sounds in this species.
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