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dc.contributor.authorRosenthal, Gil G.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorFitzsimmons, Jessica N.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorWoods, Kristina U.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorGerlach, Gabriele  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorFisher, Heidi S.  Concept link
dc.identifier.citationPLoS One 6 (2011): e16994en_US
dc.description© The Authors, 2010. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in PLoS One 6 (2011): e16994, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016994.en_US
dc.description.abstractChemical communication plays a critical role in sexual selection and speciation in fishes; however, it is generally assumed that most fish pheromones are passively released since most fishes lack specialized scent glands or scent-marking behavior. Swordtails (genus Xiphophorus) are widely used in studies of female mate choice, and female response to male chemical cues is important to sexual selection, reproductive isolation, and hybridization. However, it is unclear whether females are attending to passively produced cues, or to pheromones produced in the context of communication. We used fluorescein dye injections to visualize pulsed urine release in male sheepshead swordtails, Xiphophorus birchmanni. Simultaneous-choice assays of mating preference showed that females attend to species- and sex-specific chemical cues emitted in male urine. Males urinated more frequently in the presence and proximity of an audience (conspecific females). In the wild, males preferentially courted upstream of females, facilitating transmission of pheromone cues. Males in a teleost fish have evolved sophisticated temporal and spatial control of pheromone release, comparable to that found in terrestrial animals. Pheromones are released specifically in a communicative context, and the timing and positioning of release favors efficient signal transmission.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was funded by the National Science Foundation (, IOB-0447665.en_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen_US
dc.rightsAttribution 3.0 United States*
dc.titleTactical release of a sexually-selected pheromone in a swordtail fishen_US

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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 3.0 United States