First evidence of fish larvae producing sounds

—  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 fish larvae using gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) as a model species. 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 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, especially at night when visual cues are reduced.

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