The individual context of ultrasonic vocalizations produced by free-living Brush mice (Peromyscus boylii) with an emphasis on differences between males and females

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Radmila Petric (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell

Abstract: Muroid rodents regularly use ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). The majority of research work on USV communication in rodents comes from laboratory strains of rats (Rattus norvegicus) and mice (Mus musculus). Peromyscus boylii species like M. musculus is polygynous to promiscuous depending on population density that regularly produces USVs. The objective of my project was to examine the individual context of USVs produced by wild P. boylii with a specific focus of examining differences between males and females. USVs were recorded during the breeding season however there was no correlation between the number of USVs produce and the proportion of reproductive adult or sub-adult individuals in the population (Pearson's Correlation=0.582, 0.470). Adult P. boylii males with scrotal testis produced USVs when alone and in the presence of an estrous female. There were individual differences between males based on duration and frequency of USVs. Adult, P. boylii females residents produced USVs in the presence of another female and when pups are emerging from the nest. There were individual differences between females based on frequency and bandwidth of USVs. Females produce more 3SV vocalizations than males and the mean overall modulation and bandwidth were lower in males than females. My results suggest that vocalizations produced by males may serve to attract females and facilitate copulation whereas, vocalizations produced by females may serve to mediate social interactions with other females and as warning signals for newly weaned pups. Furthermore, sex is communicated through motif type and spectral characteristics of USV.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Peromyscus, Peromyscus boylii, Ultrasound
Sound production by animals.
Sexual behavior in animals.

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