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Odor preferences of adult male Brandt's vole (Microtus brandti): Discrimination of female individual scents



Odor preferences of adult male Brandt's vole (Microtus brandti): Discrimination of female individual scents



Acta Zoologica Sinica 48(1): 27-34



The odor preferences of adult male Brandt's voles (Microtus brandti) to spouse and adult novel females were recorded in a 30-minute 2-way odor choice test. Four kinds of odor combinations: (1) estrous spouse and estrous novel female odor; (2) estrous spouse and diestrous novel female odor; (3) diestrous spouse and estrous novel female odor; (4) diestrous spouse and diestrous novel female odors, were presented to breeding male voles. In experiment 1, 3 and 4, male voles presented more sniffing, digging, and other investigating behaviors to novel female odor than those to the spouse odor; males also spent more time in the experimental box with unfamiliar female odor than in the box with spouse female odor. In experiment 2, males preferred the estrous spouse odor over the odor of diestrous novel female, and the visit frequency to estrous spouse odor was significantly higher than the frequency of visit to diestrous novel female odor. These results indicated that male voles preferred odors of estrous females to diestrous females, and they preferred novel female scents to spouse's scents when the female odor donors were in the same estrus cycles. The results also suggested that males would prefer novel or estrous females in the mate choice. These responses are typical of a polygamous rodent species.

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