Communication and Perception
Fathead minnows utilize chemical cues to differentiate between familiar (i.e., shoalmates) and unfamiliar individuals. Olfactory signals vary in relation to diet, social status, parasite load, and predation risk. Chemical signaling can occur involuntarily due to the release of an alarm signal as a result of mechanical cellular damage, or voluntarily as in the release of sexual pheromones during courtship. During breeding season, males also perform both stationary and dynamic courtship displays in order to attract females to nest sites.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical
Other Communication Modes: pheromones
Perception Channels: visual
- Chivers, D., G. Brown, J. Smith. 1996. The evolution of chemical alarm signals: attracting predators benefits alarm signal senders. The American Naturalist, 148: 649-659.