CBSN Bay AreaWatch

Toadfish Sex Calls May Be Mystery Sound Keeping Pacific Grove Residents Up At Night

PACIFIC GROVE (CBS SF) — Strange noises that have been keeping Pacific Grove residents up at night may be the sound of their amphibian neighbors’ mating calls.

The droning hum originating from Monterey Bay over the summer has stumped residents in the area trying to sleep, and experts are saying it’s most likely the sex call of a species known as the toadfish.   The sound made by the plainfin midshipman can be heard as far as a quarter-mile away.

Jim Covel, Monterey Bay Aquarium Director of Guest Experience says the sound is produced by “lonesome males” pressing their strong muscles against balloon-like bladders at twice the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, he told the San Jose Mercury News.

The mating season that starts in May and ends in September.