NANFA-- Sounds of the Humming Fish

Jay DeLong (
Wed, 20 Oct 1999 20:18:01 -0700

There is an interesting web page on the mating and spawning ecology of the
midshipman at It also
discusses different sounds made by the male, and has sound recordings. And
yes, Shireen knows about it.

According to the article, there are "sneaker" males who can't "sing". These
smaller males contain up to 15% of their body weight in gonads, and they
sneak in and fertilize eggs laid by females attracted to the sounds of
larger "singing" males (who are 1% gonads). I suppose this is somewhat
analogous to Pacific salmon "jacks", males who mature rapidly and zip onto a
redd and fertilize a female salmon's eggs while she is preoccupied with a
larger adult male.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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