In late 2014 i traveled to Potsdam where Ralf Tidemann and Rebecca Nagel had invited me to the Evolutionary Biology/ Systematic Zoology Group to give a talk and assist in setting up a video-recording and EOD playback setup that would allow automated tracking and long time monitoring of electric fish in their lab.
We spend some work intensive days in the basement-fish room (building the setup, joining optical and hardware components of different CCD cams, recording EOD waveforms, see picture) that has lead to a cooperation on the now published paper Male-driven species recognition among African weakly electric fish in Royal Society Open Science.
In this article we analyze how the different, close related mormyrid species Campylomormyrus compressirostris and Campylomormyrus tamandua recognize conspecifics and heterospecifics. To test this we exposed fish to con- and heterospecific fish in a 3 compartment tank and analyzed with which of the presented individuals they would prefer to associate. Moreover we conducted playback experiment in which we presented the prominently differing EOD waveforms via electrodes. The effects in both experiments were quite interesting as it appeared that preferably males would discriminate the EOD waveforms and associate with conspecific females. Thus the EOD waveform seems to serve (partially) as a male-mediated pre-zygotic isolation mechanism among sympatric species. Check out the paper here.