Effect of congeneric chemical signals of different ages on foraging response and food choice in the field by golden spiny mice (Acomys russatus)

Alexandre Dobly, Francine M. Rozenfeld, Abraham Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The common spiny mice Acomys dimidiatus and golden spiny mice Acomys russatus coexist in the extreme warm and dry parts of the Rift Valley in Israel. However, they are temporally segregated in that the former is nocturnal. whereas the latter is diurnal. Daily rhythms of physiological and behavioral variables in A. russatus responded to semiochemical signals released by A. dimidiatus (in the urine and feces). Both species feed upon the same food items but at different times of the 24-hr cycle. The main aim of the present study was to test under field conditions the foraging response of A. russatus to odors of different ages released by A. dimidiatus. Various feeding and behavioral variables were compared in three groups of A. russatus. The results show that fresh semiochemical signals released by A. dimidiatus decrease the feeding efficiency and increase the rate of smelling from a distance in A. russatus. These results support the idea that temporal segregation between the two coexisting species is at least partly through semiochemicals present in the urine and feces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1961
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume27
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments—This project was financed by the Israeli Ministry of Sciences and the Belgian “Commisariat Général aux Relations Internationales de la Communauté Franc¸aise de Belgique” (CGRI). A. Dobly benefited from a FRIA grant from Belgian government (“Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l’Industrie et dans l’Agriculture”). We thank all the people at Ein-Gedi for the use of their facilities. We also thank Allina Neuman for her help.

Keywords

  • Acomys
  • Arid environment
  • Feeding behavior
  • Heterospecific chemical signals
  • Spiny mouse
  • Urine and feces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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