We hypothesized that male meadow voles adjust their odour preferences and sexual behaviours in response to the presence and number of male conspecifics they perceive to have visited a sexually receptive female conspecific. Male voles only preferred the odour of the female previously associated with 3 or 5 males to that of the unfamiliar female. Male voles also had a shorter latency to mate and a shorter mating duration when they were paired with the female that was previously associated with the bedding of 3 or 5 males compared to males paired with an unfamiliar female. Mating and reproductive success, however, were similar for males paired with either female. Thus, male voles use public information provided by scent marks of male conspecifics and adjust their responses in favour of a female that they perceive to been visited by several males, although she may represent a high risk of sperm competition.
Plastic responses of male Drosophila melanogaster to the level of sperm competition increase male reproductive fitness. —
Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B: Biol. Sci.276:
Odor preferences of wild stock female house mice (Mus domesticus) tested at three ages using urine and other cues from conspecific males and females. —
J. Chem. Ecol.15:
Male and female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, respond differently to scent marks from the top- middle-, and bottom-scent donors of an over-mark. —
Communication by chemical signals: physiological mechanisms, ontogeny and learning, function, evolution and cognition. — In:
Hormones, brain, and behavior, 3rd edn. (
PfaffD.W.JoëlsM., eds). Elsevier Press, Kidlington, p.
The presence and number of male competitor’s scent marks and female reproductive state affect the response of male meadow voles to female conspecifics’ odours. —