The duration of sociosexual behaviors in male meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus varies before, during, and after copulation


The behaviors that surround copulation are characterized as sociosexual behaviors. These behaviors displayed by males that are directed at females may include allogrooming, wrestling, chasing, approach, and time spent together. The data supported the hypothesis that the duration of sociosexual behaviors differs during the pre-copulatory, peri-copulatory, and post-copulatory phases of the mating bout in meadow voles. Voles spent more time approaching conspecifics during the pre- and peri-copulatory phases than during the post-copulatory phase. Voles spent more time allogrooming, wrestling, and chasing during the pre-copulatory phase than during the peri- and post-copulatory phases. Voles spent similar amounts of time together during the pre-, peri-, and post-copulatory phases. The data suggest that sociosexual behaviors displayed by males may be involved in setting the pace and temporal components of the mating bout. During the pre-copulatory phase particular behaviors by male voles may attract females, during the peri-copulatory phase some of these behaviors may stimulate or motivate the female to mate, and during the post-copulatory phase certain behaviors may prepare the male to mate again. © 2011 Current Zoology.

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Current Zoology