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I've got Redears on the beds, in about 15" of water. These two beds shown are at most 30" off shore. One of them had a male LMB guarding bass fry in it 2 days ago, at most.

The water was rather murky from silt being kicked up by all the nest cleaning and dirty dancing, but I managed a few shots that convey some detail.

Redear on Bed:


Redear cleaning the nest with tail sweeps:


Two adjacent nests with recently moved LMB lurking next to his old apartment. Redear on the left is nest cleaning:


Bob and Carol and Ted - no sign of Alice as yet:


Now my quandry: These two nest are in much shallower water than I have ever observed Lepomis in before. The only other time I have actually seen sunfish nests was the first year the spawned, and that was in water at least twice as deep and perhaps 4 times farther from shore. Every other year, the nests have been too deep and far way from shore to even see.

These particular Redear males are not terribly impressive specimens. Bob on the left was perhaps 8" and Ted on the right might have been 7". Carol, the female that was getting busy with Bob, was a little bigger but still not a huge fish.

QUESTION: Could there be notably MORE breeding age/size RES in the pond this year, forcing the marginally competitive males to utilize marginally usable nest sites this close to shore? (The population of sizable BG observed this year is more numerous than before; I speculate the large RES numbers may be doing better also.) (Either one of these boys will be extremely easy picking for a heron for several days now.) Or is there another explanation why this Spring they are nesting in water far shallower than either 1) literature or 2) pond history predicts?

FWIW, water temp at this depth has been 70 degrees F since May 1; up to about 75 degrees today.


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That's pretty cool. I would like to know what Dr. Willis thinks. I don't know enough about RES habits to comment, but my first thought was that maybe there's some pretty good sized ones in the better spots.

I was just fishing at a pit that has RES, and their nests have generally been deeper than the bluegill nests. I've never seen the RES that shallow. That's really interesting.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Condello:
That's pretty cool. I would like to know what Dr. Willis thinks. I don't know enough about RES habits to comment, but my first thought was that maybe there's some pretty good sized ones in the better spots.
Another thought - maybe the BG are nesting at the same exact time this year. That would make more competition for nests.

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I was just fishing at a pit that has RES, and their nests have generally been deeper than the bluegill nests. I've never seen the RES that shallow. That's really interesting.
I was double-freaked: first, to see sunfish mating 2' from shore, and second, when I realized they were Redears.


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Guys our RES do that all the time. They spawn in shallow water near deeper BG beds and often at the same time. These 2 pics are a mth apart and on different ponds. Both in 1 ft. of water. Lot of fun to watch. \:D




















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Eric, did you say that was 2' of water or 18"?
Edit: I see the editted answer - one foot.

-----------------------------------------------

Mississippi-accented Redears - that would explain the lyrics coming from the pond

"The last thing I wanted was to get in a fight
With Redear Sunfish on a Saturday night,
Especially when there were five of them and only one of me."


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Theo, I think you need to go snorkeling and find out, sans floatation devices, mind you.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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This is how he got to 4200 some-odd posts. He's a goner.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Sunil:
Theo, I think you need to go snorkeling and find out, sans floatation devices, mind you.
Sunil, I've got a Redear dorsal fin spine broken off in my left palm now, courtesty of a RES who tagged me while I tagged him last weekend. I respectfully decline.


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Theo, someone obviously hacked my computer and posted that note about you going snorkeling.

RES are a ruthless bunch of scalliwags.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Both of you guys got some great pictures. I love seeing how bright that red tab is, even in water that is somewhat turbid. Very cool.

Bruce - I don't know much about redears. Ewest obviously has far more experience.


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From Bob Lusk: Dr. Dave Willis passed away January 13, 2014. He continues to be a key part of our Pond Boss family...and always will be.
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Theo don't try to tell them that :

one of them (skinny Red with green crushers) is with the FBI and he is a secret member of the ACLU , cause he will tell them he's a card carrying member of the Redfish Klan and been living there all his life --- and you will be running for yours.

\:D
















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When you see how well the red opercule tab stands out, you realize what a great visual signal it is for the fish, and (one reason) why natural hybridization rates are so low even though the viability is very high.


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Good point, Theo. I believe someone even suggested to snip off the red to increase the oops chances in turbid water.


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How about auditory singals in murky water? My understanding is that male sunfish make a series of low pitched voaclized grunts while chasing competitors out of their territory when they are on the bed and while courting females. I have also read that sound production in sunfish is species specific meaning that vocalizations from BG and RES should be noticable different. One thing is for sure, the research into the area sound vocaliztion in sunfish is pretty sketchy, but it might explain why hybridizations doen't occur more often than it does.



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Yep Shorty you are right grunts and clicking noises are used by BG and RES for sure and probably other lepomis as well. Also smell/chem. scent in BG at least.
















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 Quote:
Originally posted by ewest:
Yep Shorty you are right grunts and clicking noises are used by BG and RES for sure and probably other lepomis as well.
So apparently greenies are tone deef, or just hard headed. Seriously, when natural hybrids occur I wonder if it is due to lack of numbers of 1 species, if the milt goes astray in tight spaces, or other causes.


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 Quote:
Sound Production During Courtship in Six Species of Sunfish (Centrarchidae)
Jerry W. Gerald
Evolution, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar., 1971), pp. 75-87
doi:10.2307/2406500
This article consists of 13 page(s).
 Quote:
Abstract
Sounds were recorded in colonies of six species of sunfish (Lepomis megalotis, L. humilis, L. punctatus, L. macrochirus, L. cyanellus and L. microlophus) under natural conditions. No sounds were heard in a seventh species (L. auritus) during observations that included 17 courtships and three spawnings. This lack of sound production during courtship may be an important cue for mate recognition in this species. The calls of the sound-producing species consist of a series of grunt-like sounds or popping sounds (in L. microlophus) and were heard during active courtship of a female by a nesting male. The males produced at least part of the sounds because L. megalotis, L. humilis, and L. macrochirus males could be induced to court and call to dead females that were manipulated on a string. Also, the jaws of L. microlophus males could be seen to snap shut as the popping sounds were heard during courtship. The sound producing mechanism in the other species and whether or not the females also produce sounds is not known. Except for the L. microlophus sounds, which may exhibit transients with frequencies up to about 7 KHz, the frequencies used in these calls is under 2 KHz, with the highest amplitudes under 1 KHz. The mean sound duration for each species is about 0.64 seconds except for L. cyanellus which averages 0.36 seconds. The mean pulse repetition rates of L. punctatus, L. megalotis, and L. humilis are different at the 0.01 level. The sounds of L. macrochirus, L. cyanellus, and L. microlophus showed almost no pulsation. L. cyanellus has a much shorter grunt duration than L. macrochirus and L. microlophus and these two differ primarily in the number of sounds per call. L. microlophus produces one or at most two sounds together while L. macrochirus almost always produces a series of grunts. The total number of sounds recorded for each species and the percentage showing pulsation are: L. macrochirus 80 (7%), L. punctatus 200 (25%), L. humilis 199 (66%), L. megalotis 141 (96%), L. cyanellus 24 (0%), and L. microlophus 34 (0%). Preliminary playback experiments of the courtship sounds indicate that L. megalotis, L. humilis and possibly L. macrochirus are attracted to their conspecific calls, at least during spawning. The other species have not been tested yet.





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Good info Shorty. The Neff articles have info on BG noises.
















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 Quote:
Originally posted by burgermeister:
Seriously, when natural hybrids occur I wonder if it is due to lack of numbers of 1 species, if the milt goes astray in tight spaces, or other causes.
ewest (who else) found a study on natural hybridization in a large (many 100's of acres or bigger) lake with about a half-dozen Lepomis species. The fewer of each species there were in the lake, the larger number of hybrids there were having that species for one parent.


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I went back and modified the abstract adding common names or acronyms to make the abstract more PB friendly reading. Hopefully it makes more sense.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sound Production During Courtship in Six Species of Sunfish (Centrarchidae)
Jerry W. Gerald
Evolution, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar., 1971), pp. 75-87
doi:10.2307/2406500
This article consists of 13 page(s).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modified quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstract
Sounds were recorded in colonies of six species of sunfish (Lepomis megalotis (LES), L. humilis (orange spotted sunfish), L. punctatus (spotted sunfish), L. macrochirus (BG), L. cyanellus (GSF) and L. microlophus (RES)) under natural conditions. No sounds were heard in a seventh species (L. auritus (RBS)) during observations that included 17 courtships and three spawnings. This lack of sound production during courtship may be an important cue for mate recognition in this species. The calls of the sound-producing species consist of a series of grunt-like sounds or popping sounds (in L. microlophus (RES)) and were heard during active courtship of a female by a nesting male. The males produced at least part of the sounds because L. megalotis (LES), L. humilis (orange spotted), and L. macrochirus (BG) males could be induced to court and call to dead females that were manipulated on a string. Also, the jaws of L. microlophus (RES) males could be seen to snap shut as the popping sounds were heard during courtship. The sound producing mechanism in the other species and whether or not the females also produce sounds is not known. Except for the L. microlophus (RES) sounds, which may exhibit transients with frequencies up to about 7 KHz, the frequencies used in these calls is under 2 KHz, with the highest amplitudes under 1 KHz. The mean sound duration for each species is about 0.64 seconds except for L. cyanellus (GSF) which averages 0.36 seconds. The mean pulse repetition rates of L. punctatus (spotted sunfish), L. megalotis (LES), and L. humilis (orange spotted) are different at the 0.01 level. The sounds of L. macrochirus (BG), L. cyanellus (GSF), and L. microlophus (RES) showed almost no pulsation. L. cyanellus (GSF) has a much shorter grunt duration than L. macrochirus (BG) and L. microlophus (RES) and these two differ primarily in the number of sounds per call. L. microlophus (RES) produces one or at most two sounds together while L. macrochirus (BG) almost always produces a series of grunts. The total number of sounds recorded for each species and the percentage showing pulsation are: L. macrochirus (BG) 80 (7%), L. punctatus (spotted) 200 (25%), L. humilis (orange spotted) 199 (66%), L. megalotis (LES) 141 (96%), L. cyanellus (GSF) 24 (0%), and L. microlophus (RES) 34 (0%). Preliminary playback experiments of the courtship sounds indicate that L. megalotis (LES), L. humilis (orange spotted) and possibly L. macrochirus (BG) are attracted to their conspecific calls, at least during spawning. The other species have not been tested yet.



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That was very nice of you, Shorty.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Shorty:
The mean sound duration for each species is about 0.64 seconds except for L. cyanellus which averages 0.36 seconds. [/QB]
well that confirms my theory.....GSF dont need to say much to be heard \:D


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