Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and prairie voles (M-ochrogaster) differ in their responses to over-marks from opposite- and same-sex conspecifics

Citation
Rl. Woodward et al., Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and prairie voles (M-ochrogaster) differ in their responses to over-marks from opposite- and same-sex conspecifics, ETHOLOGY, 106(11), 2000, pp. 979-992
Citations number
34
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
11
Year of publication
2000
Pages
979 - 992
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200011)106:11<979:MV(PAP>2.0.ZU;2-0
Abstract
Over-marking occurs when one individual deposits its scent mark on the scen t mark of a conspecific. Previous studies have shown that meadow voles (Mic rotus pennsylvanicus) and prairie voles (M. ochrogaster) that were exposed to an over-mark of two same-sex conspecifics, later responded similarly to the top-scent mark but differed in their response to the bottom-scent mark. In the present study, we examined the responses of meadow voles and prairi e voles to same-sex and mixed-sex over-marks to ascertain whether their res ponses reflect the different tactics which males and females in promiscuous (meadow voles) and monogamous (prairie voles) species use to attract oppos ite-sex conspecifics and to compete with same-sex conspecifics. Males and f emales of both species spent more time investigating the mark of the top-sc ent donor than that of the bottom-scent donor of an over-mark. Meadow voles exposed to a mixed-sex over-mark spent more time investigating the mark of the opposite-sex conspecific independently of whether it was from the top- or bottom-scent donor. In contrast, prairie voles spent more time investig ating the mark of the opposite-sex donor if it was from the top-scent donor . These results suggest that: (i) over-marking serves a competitive functio n; (ii) the scent marks of individuals attract multiple mates in promiscuou s species such as the meadow vole; and (iii) the scent marks of individuals establish and maintain pair bonds between familiar opposite-sex conspecifi cs in monogamous species such as the prairie vole.