Effects of Photoperiod on Behavior and Courtship of the Neosho madtom (Noturus placidus)

Journal of Freshwater Ecology
By: , and 



To test effects of long and short day-length on behavior of the Neosho madtom (Noturus placidus), we held six pairs of fish in separate tanks under 16 hr (L): 8 hr (D) (long-day) and six pairs under 12 hr (L): 12 hr (D) (short-day) photoperiods. An ethogram was created and behavior was electronically and continuously recorded. Two-minute intervals for each hour over four 4-day periods were examined, and proportion of time active and performing specific behaviors in each tank was analyzed to compare differences between treatments. Individuals held under 16 L, 8 D were more active during the light cycle than those in 12 L, 12 D. Specific behaviors examined included resting, swimming, feeding, aggression, cavity enhancement, and courtship. A higher proportion of time was spent performing cavity enhancement, cavities were deeper, and gravel size in cavities was smaller for those fish in the long-day treatment. Throughout the experiment various courtship behaviors were observed in male-female pairs held in 16 L, 8 D, but no such behaviors were observed in 12L, 12D. The relationships between a long photoperiod and activity, cavity enhancement, and courtship behaviors illustrate the influence of photoperiod on the Neosho madtom reproductive cycle.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of Photoperiod on Behavior and Courtship of the Neosho madtom (Noturus placidus)
Series title Journal of Freshwater Ecology
DOI 10.1080/02705060.2002.9663877
Volume 17
Issue 1
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 10 p.
First page 141
Last page 150