How do fish communicate with each other? The way is rich and varied

Beijing time on January 17, according tomedia reports, human communication methods are diverse, and more and more convenient, however, for fish and other organisms, they will be how to communicate? Are they just as easy to communicate with? Perhaps the more important question is, can they communicate with each other? The answer is yes, fish, like humans, can communicate with each other and have a variety of ways to communicate.

How do fish communicate with each other? The way is rich and varied

The most common ways are through sound, color, bioluminescence, motion, electrical impulses, and odors. These forms of communication often play an important role in fish navigation, courtship, warning predators, and combat.


It is well known that sound travels more slowly than light, but under appropriate conditions, sound can also travel farther. Light travels underwater for a short period of time and is scattered or absorbed. In deeper places, light is barely visible, further limiting the vision of many marine animals. Sound, on the other hand, travels much further underwater. The strong echoes of different animals almost always echoed underwater, as there was little noise loss.

Fish usually communicate with each other in three sounds – grunts, cackls, and slugs. Most of these sounds are inaudible to humans and are usually used in spawning, reproduction and combat. Sounds can also be used for navigation, as well as for identifying the presence of predators and prey. For example, in intense interactionwith with others, the Papi rock head long jaw fish (known as Petrostus ballayi) and the Yei’s short jaw fish (name: Pollimyrus isidori) emit a whiff and blast sound at a frequency of less than 1kHz. The venomous leopard catfish (name: Opsanus tau) makes a buzz to attract potential mates after nesting.

On the other hand, the use sound to protect their territory from predators. Whenever an intruder is felt, they make a spontaneous sound.

How does this sound come about? Many fish make sounds through the gills. The sound-related muscles attached to the gills contract and relax in turn, causing the gills to vibrate, thus producing sound. This is how many stone-headed fish, such as the big yellow fish, make their voices heard. During the breeding season, the big yellow fish make a “cackle” sound, with maximum sound pressure s94 to 97 decibels. Similarly, hard parts of the fish’s body, such as teeth and bones, make sounds when they hit each other.


We still don’t know much about how fish communicate through smell. However, a recent study has found that some cimas use urine as a medium to send chemical signals to competitors during aggressive performances. In other words, these fish send their smell messages by urinating!

How do fish communicate with each other? The way is rich and varied

Female zebrafish are known to secrete pheromones as signaling molecules for reproduction and socialization. Male zebrafish use their sense of smell to sense and swim to female zebrafish that secrete the pheromone.


How do fish communicate with each other? The way is rich and varied

Color is definitely the most developed way of communication for fish. Many fish can brighten or darken their epidermis, while others can glow and even change the color of their body tables to mimic other fish. Fish that are not good at swimming also use bright colors to warn other fish not to approach or to warn predators. For example, grouper changes their color to indicate that they are ready to lay eggs.


Not all fish can make sounds to communicate, so some fish use body language or movement instead. In a three-dimensional water environment, the fish’s athletic talent makes the fish look like a living body, able to make various movements with the current and predator. How attraction, follow, and exclusion between individuals are carried out now seems to be only modeled. In any case, the interaction between fish is much more complex than we see.


Some fish that live in the deep sea can make their organs glow through chemical reactions. Because the world is dark deep in the ocean, bioluminescence helps fish identify other rare species.

There are also many fish with special glowing organs that make their bodies look like glowing spots. For example, the light-emitting device of the lantern fish is located on the abdomen. Some fish have luminescence shimiletts on either side of their bodies that can be used to help identify different individuals and communicate between species.

Electrical impulses

How do fish communicate with each other? The way is rich and varied

Some fish have power-generating organs that enable them to transmit electrical impulses. These impulses usually point to predators, warning them to “stay away.”

Electric eel has three special discharge organs – body side electrical appliances, lower power generators and upper hair appliances. Among them, the lower generator is high-volt generator, mainly used for defense and hunting, the upper generator can continue to emit weak current, mainly used to detect and navigation. These organs account for 80 per cent of the electric eel’s body, while the other organs are tightly packed together. In terms of AC, electric eels use low discharges from short pulses. Electric eels can detect and identify these signals underwater, and can collect information from other nearby individuals and transmit information by electrical signals. (Any day)