Pectoral fin beat frequency predicts oxygen consumption during spontaneous activity in a labriform swimming fish (Embiotoca lateralis)

Christian Tudorache, Anders D. Jordan, Jon Christian Svendsen, Paolo Domenici, G. DeBoeck, John F. Steffensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The objective of this study was to identify kinematic variables correlated with oxygen consumption during spontaneous labriform swimming. Kinematic variables (swimming speed, change of speed, turning angle, turning rate, turning radius and pectoral fin beat frequency) and oxygen consumption (MO2) of spontaneous swimming in Embiotoca lateralis were measured in a circular arena using video tracking and respirometry, respectively. The main variable influencing MO2 was pectoral fin beat frequency (r (2) = 0.71). No significant relationship was found between swimming speed and pectoral fin beat frequency. Complementary to other methods within biotelemetry such as EMG it is suggested that such correlations of pectoral fin beat frequency may be used to measure the energy requirements of labriform swimming fish such as E. lateralis in the field, but need to be taken with great caution since movement and oxygen consumption patterns are likely to be quite different in field situation compared to a small lab tank. In addition, our methods could be useful to measure metabolic costs of growth and development, or bioassays for possible toxicological effects on fish.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)121-127
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Oxygen consumption
  • Swimming performance
  • Energetics
  • Striped surfperch
  • Embiotoca lateralis
  • Labriform swimming
  • Metabolism

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