Sexual dimorphism of drumming muscles in European hake (Merluccius merluccius)
TypePeer reviewed; Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Dissections of mature and non-mature European hake males and females (N = 142) collected in waters off the western coast of Norway and in the Bay of Biscay (France) in 2004–2006 demonstrate for the first time that this gadoid species contains drumming muscles. There were differences in drumming muscles weight with body length, sex and maturity stage. This study shows that the difference between females and males is primarily manifested during the spawning season, seen both in the French and Norwegian samples. For the mature females the drumming muscles dry weight increases only slightly, if at all, with increase in total length. For mature males there is a corresponding rapid increase. There does not seem to be any consistent difference between the average dry weight of the drumming muscles in immature male and immature and mature female hake of the same length, tested on the Norwegian samples. Our results suggest that male hake, like the males of other gadoids studied, may produce sounds in the context of spawning.