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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2013 year, number 3

Care of Young and the Effect of Male Presence on the Parental Behaviour of Common Vole ( Microtus arvalis) in captivity

A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, 119071, Moscow, Leninsky ave., 33
Keywords: common vole, parental behaviour, tactile stimulation


Care of young in males and females of the common voles reared by both parents (complete families, the control group) or by females only (incomplete families, the experimental group) was studied under laboratory conditions. In the control group, there were no significant sex differences in nest attendance, but females licked pups for a longer time. As for the experimental group, nest-residence in males was shortened by 29.9 % in average, compared with the control group. In females, the nest-residence without the male mates averaged 22.7 min against 9.1 min in the control group. The present findings show that the absence of the male in the family group leading to the reduction of the care of young (mainly of tactile stimulation) negatively affects pair-bonding and subsequent parental activities in male offspring.