A four hydrophone linear array was used to localize calling black drum and estimate source levels and signal propagation. A total of 1025 source level estimates averaged 165 dBRMS relative (re:) 1 μPa (standard deviation (SD) = 1.0). The authors suggest that the diverticulated morphology of the black drum swimbladder increase the bladder’s surface area, thus contributing to sound amplitude. Call energy was greatest in the fundamental frequency (94 Hz) followed by the second (188 Hz) and third harmonics (282 Hz). A square root model best described propagation of the entire call, and separately the fundamental frequency and second harmonic. A logarithmic model best described propagation of the third harmonic which was the only component to satisfy the cut-off frequency equation. Peak auditory sensitivity was 300 Hz at a 94 dB re: 1 μPa threshold based on auditory evoked potential measurements of a single black drum. Based on mean RMS source level, signal propagation, background levels, and hearing sensitivity, the communication range of black drum was estimated at 33–108 m and was limited by background levels not auditory sensitivity. This estimate assumed the source and receiver were at approximately 0.5 m above the bottom. Consecutive calls of an individual fish localized over 59 min demonstrated a mean calling period of 3.6 s (SD = 0.48), mean swimming speed of 0.5 body lengths/s, and a total distance swam of 1035 m.

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