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Fish #163 Painted Goby Pomatoschistus pictus ~ Barbara Rimmington
Watercolour and mixed media 19 x 28 cm
Pomatoschistus pictus, the Painted goby, reaches up to 6 cm in length. It has two distinct dorsal fins positioned closely together. The first usually has six spines and two rows of black spots, two between each of the spines. The second dorsal fin has one spine and up to 10 rays and one or more rows of smaller black spots, one or more between each of the rays. The caudal fin is more or less rounded. The painted goby is usually faun to yellowish-olive green in colour. Four pale saddles are present across the back and four double spots are situated between the saddles along the lateral midline. The areas anterior of the dorsal fins and around the breast region are naked of scales.
There is no population information available for this species; however it is assumed to be stable. The painted goby is widely distributed around the British and Irish coasts, along the Atlantic shores from Trøndelag, Norway to Spain. It is also registered in the Mediterranean. The Painted Goby is found on areas of inshore gravel, sand and mud, from just below the tidal zone down to a depth of 55 metres. Juveniles may occur in shore pools and they can school. It feeds on crustaceans, mostly copepods and amphipods.
The painted goby emits courtship sounds (drums) that are important in reproductive outcome. Temperature affects the pulse rate of the sounds, because muscle twitches typically shorten with rising temperatures. Pulse rate is likely an important factor in mate choice, combined with visual courtship. Vocal activity is energetically expensive and is condition-dependent in the painted goby. It may function as an honest signal of male quality, including paternal ability. However, how fish mate decisions are influenced by call characteristics is poorly understood. Female painted goby seem to be influenced in their choice of mate by accoustic signalling coupled with visual courtship, rather than size of male. Another study provides evidence that ocean acidification might affect the auditory responses of larval stages of the Painted Goby, with potentially significant impacts on their survival.
I was inspired to paint a fish for this project by a friend and fellow artist. I enjoy outdoor sketching, though living in Sheffield it is rarely by the sea. I like using a variety of media, watercolours, inks, pencils, etc. I also love experimenting with printmaking, using linocuts, collagraph and monoprint.
Mate preference in the painted goby: the influence of visual and acoustic courtship. M. Clara P. Amorim, Ana Nunes da Ponte, Manuel Caiano, Silvia S. Pedroso, Ricardo Pereira, Paulo J. Fonseca. The Journal of Experimental Biology 216, 3996-4004, 2013
Effects of temperature on sound production in the painted goby Pomatoschistus pictus. Joana R.Vicente, Paulo J.Fonseca, M. Clara P.Amorim
Painted Goby Larvae under High-CO2 Fail to Recognize Reef Sounds. Joana M. Castro, M. Clara P. Amorim, Ana P. Oliveira, Emanuel J. Gonçalves, Philip L. Munday, Stephen D. Simpson, Ana M. Faria
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