Risk of sperm competition does not influence copulatory behavior in the promiscuous meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)


It is not clear whether males in all mammalian species adjust their copulatory behavior when faced with risk of sperm competition (RSC). Previous work on meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, indicated that males increase their sperm expenditure but not the number of ejaculations in the presence of odors of a conspecific male. The present study follows up on this work and asks whether male meadow voles modify any aspect of their copulatory behavior when they face a RSC. We examined 46 variables of copulatory behavior and found that the presence of odors from a conspecific male did not affect any of these variables. Thus, male meadow voles, unlike some other species of mammals, do not adjust their copulatory behavior when exposed to cues associated with an elevated RSC. © 2006 Japan Ethological Society and Springer-Verlag.

Publication Title

Journal of Ethology