Experimental investigations of the hunting behaviour in mountain voles, Alticola strelzowi and Alticola tuvinicus (Rodentia, Cricetidae)

S. N. Panteleeva, J. V. Levenets, A. A. Novikovskaya, Zh I. Reznikova, N. V. Lopatina, Yu N. Litvinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In laboratory experiments, purposeful inter-relations with moving insects in the “predator-prey” manner have been revealed and described in two species of mountain voles: Alticola strelzowi and A. tuvinicus. The patterns of the hunting behaviour are similar in these species. Being optional, the hunting patterns, however, are innate and do not improve with experience. Unlike the rodent species studied before, mountain voles demonstrate “storing” behavioural patterns when operating with live insects. According to the characteristics of the interactions with prey, mountain voles are among the most successful and effective hunters of moving insects. Regarding the hunting tactics and the manners of their manipulations with prey, mountain voles are similar to the most “predatory” of omnivorous hamsters, but differ from them in an optional manifestation of the hunting stereotype. The frequency of occurrence of the stereotype and the success of hunting in mountain voles are twice as high as in the previously studied herbivorous narrow-head vole. Characteristics of a hunting behaviour so unexpected in herbivorous rodents were revealed in mountain voles for the first time. The expansion of the diet due to the hunt for insects can be attributed to dwelling in arid places with a deficit of plant food resources.

Translated title of the contributionЭкспериментальное исследование охотничьего поведения скальных полевок Alticola strelzowi и Alticola tuvinicus (Rodentia, Cricetidae)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalZoologicheskii Zhurnal
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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