Section 22
Chapter 21,764

Social olfaction in male brown lemmings (Lemmus sibiricus = trimucronatus) and collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) : I. Discrimination of species, sex, and estrous condition

Huck, U.W.; Banks, E.M.

Journal of Comparative Psychology 98(1): 54-59


ISSN/ISBN: 0735-7036
PMID: 6368118
Accession: 021763447

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When tested in a Y-maze olfactometer, sexually experienced and sexually naive brown and collared lemmings (L. sibiricus = L. trimucronatus and D. groenlandicus) preferred the odor of conspecific females to the odor of females of another species. Both experienced and naive males also preferred the odor of conspecific females to that of conspecific males. Only sexually experienced males showed a significant preference for estrous over nonestrous conspecific females. Sexually experienced males also discriminated between estrous and nonestrous heterospecific females of a familiar (lemming) and unfamiliar (meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus) species. In conjunction with the results of earlier studies of the development of species-specific olfactory preferences, these findings suggest that 2 olfactory cues mediate a male's attraction to receptive females: a species-specific odor that is learned during early development and a sexual attractant whose saliency is established as a result of adult experience with a receptive female.

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