Spacing behaviour between two desert rodents, the golden spiny mouse Acomys russatus and the bushy-tailed gerbil Sekeetamys calurus

A. Haim, F. M. Rozenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nest and feeding behaviour patterns were compared between two sympatric species, the bushy-tailed gerbil Sekeetamys calurus and the golden spiny mouse Acomys russatus, in order to assess nest site and food as possible resources of competition. The way the species interact under laboratory conditions was also compared. While S. calurus used a nest into which they removed bedding material, only two out of six A. russatus did so, while in at least half of the studied cases they were found roosting outside of the nest inside the enclosure. When introduced into the same enclosure, S. calurus was the dominant species and in five out of 12 cases S. calurus inhabited the nest abandoned by A. russatus, and in seven cases A. russatus was found resting in the enclosure. Unlike A. russatus, S. calurus accumulated food inside its nest and also protected the food resource in the enclosure against A. russatus. It seems that different nest and feeding behavioural patterns can reduce competition between these two sympatric species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a binational grant from the Ministry of Education of Belgium and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel. We thank Mr H. Kosik for maintenance of the breeding colonies of both species at Oranim, Israel.

Keywords

  • Arid environment
  • Co-existence
  • Feeding behaviour
  • Nesting behaviour
  • Rodents
  • Spacing behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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