Title

Light intensity and schooling behaviour in larval gulf menhaden

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1996

Publication Title

Journal of Fish Biology

Volume

48

Issue

5

First Page

979

Last Page

991

DOI

10.1111/j.1095-8649.1996.tb01491.x

Abstract

Schooling behaviour was examined in larval gulf menhaden Brevoortia patronus under decreasing and increasing light intensities and related to movements of retinal photoreceptors and pigment. Nearest neighbour angles and nearest neighbour distances between fish were inversely related to light intensity and were independent of the direction of intensity change. Swimming speeds of individual fish were directly related to light intensity when intensity was decreased but did not increase when intensity was raised. The changes in nearest neighbour angles and distances more closely paralleled movements of retinal pigment cells than cone cell migration, suggesting that rod photoreceptors play a greater role than cones in determining the threshold light intensity for schooling. A general model is developed relating the threshold light intensity for schooling to eye diameter for a number of different species and the implications of this relationship are discussed.