Behavioural correlates of spatial distribution in Wagner's gerbil Gerbillus dasyurus (Rodentia, Gerbillinae)

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15 Scopus citations


Spatial organization of Gerbillus dasyurus in the Central Negev (Israel) is characterized by isolated aggregations of several individuals within a homogeneous habitat. We studied the behavioural interactions between individuals from the same and from different aggregations in male-male and female-female dyadic encounters on neutral arena. We tested the hypothesis that between-individual relationships, in G. dasyurus populations are in accordance with the «dear enemy» phenomenon (individuals show more aggressive behaviour upon detecting strangers than when sensing neighbours). The number of cohesive interactions between gerbils was much higher than that of agonistic behaviours. Male opponents in neighbour dyads demonstrated both agonistic and cohesive interactions significantly less frequently than opponents in non-neighbour dyads. No significant difference either in manifestation or in frequency of behavioural items were found between neighbour and non-neighbour dyads of females. Male encounters were more asymmetric than female encounters in terms of defensive behaviour, but not in terms of offensive behaviour. No difference in behavioural asymmetry between neighbour and non-neighbour encounters of both sexes was found. It is noteworthy that the defensive asymmetry was significantly higher than offensive asymmetry in male encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Behaviour
  • Dyadic encounters
  • Gerbillus dasyurus
  • Spatial organisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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