Natal dispersal in two mice species with contrasting social systems

Z. Groó, P. Szenczi, O. Bánszegi, V. Altbäcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compared the natal dispersal behaviour of two mice species under laboratory conditions. Natal dispersal is a movement of an animal from its birthplace to its breeding area. This behaviour is known to be influenced by the mating system. In polygamous species, males are more likely to disperse, while in most of the monogamous species, both sexes disperse. Our subjects, the house mouse (Mus musculus) and the mound-building mouse (Mus spicilegus) are two sympatric species of the genus Mus. Both are native in Hungary, but they differ in their habitat type mating system and overwintering strategy. The house mouse is a polygynous species and adapted to human environment, known for mature and reproduce early. On the contrary, the mound-building mice are monogamous, and they inhabit extensively used agricultural fields, where they spend the unfavourable winter period in nest chambers under mounds, which they construct from soil and plant material. Successful overwintering for this species demands delayed maturity and reduced dispersion during the winter. Our results showed that the natal dispersal of these two species differ; both sexes of the mound-building mice dispersed later than the house mice, where a difference between sexes also occurs; house mice males dispersed earlier than females. The mound-building mice showed no sexual dimorphism in this behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

natal dispersal
Mus musculus
mice
mating systems
overwintering
gender
reproductive strategy
dispersal behavior
Mus
winter
Hungary
sympatry
sexual dimorphism
breeding sites
nests
social system
habitat type
nest
breeding
habitats

Keywords

  • Dispersal
  • House mouse
  • Mating system
  • Mound-building mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Natal dispersal in two mice species with contrasting social systems. / Groó, Z.; Szenczi, P.; Bánszegi, O.; Altbäcker, V.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 67, No. 2, 2013, p. 235-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Groó, Z. ; Szenczi, P. ; Bánszegi, O. ; Altbäcker, V. / Natal dispersal in two mice species with contrasting social systems. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2013 ; Vol. 67, No. 2. pp. 235-242.
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