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MEPS 300:129-133 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps300129

Blind dating—mate finding in planktonic copepods. III. Hydromechanical communication in Acartia tonsa

Espen Bagøien1,2,*, Thomas Kiørboe1

1Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Department of Marine Ecology and Aquaculture, Kavalergården 6, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
2Present address: Department of Biology, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT: Mate-finding behaviour in the marine copepod Acartia tonsa was examined by video analysis. A. tonsa appears to depend on hydromechanical signals in the location of mates, detected at distances of up to 5 or 7 mm. Series of up to 7 or 8 synchronised hops in closely situated individuals, interpreted as an expression of hydromechanical communication or assessment of a potential partner, often concluded with mating. We use previously published models of hydrodynamic signalling to explain the observed behaviour and extrapolate the results to other species.

KEY WORDS: Mating behaviour · Hydromechanical signals · Detection · Communication · Model

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