Mating system of Thrichomys fosteri in the Brazilian Pantanal: spatial patterns indicate promiscuity

Pâmela Antunes, Luiz Gustavo Rodrigues Oliveira-Santos, Thiago Mateus Rocha dos Santos, Jorge Fernando Saraiva de Menezes, Walfrido Moraes Tomas, James D. Forester, Fernando Antonio Santos Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Animal mating systems provide key insights into the relationship between evolutionary processes and ecological factors such as the spatio-temporal fluctuation of resource abundance. Characteristics of mating systems can be inferred from the spatial distribution of conspecifics and the arrangement of reproductive pairs. Here we used home-range size and overlap for Thrichomys fosteri in the Brazilian Pantanal to infer the mating system on this echimyid rodent. Our aims were to verify the existence of sexual dimorphism, to test whether home-range size varied with the sex and body weight of the individuals, to evaluate the degree of home-range overlap, to estimate mean population density, and to infer individuals’ mating system. Twenty one individuals (15 males and six females) were radio tracked from 14 to 349 days, with the number of locations by individuals ranging from 19 to 193 locations. There was a male-biased sexual dimorphism in body weight where males were 1.36 times heavier than females. Males’ home-range size increased with their body weight, while for females there was no relationship. There was extensive home-range overlap between both sexes, and no evidence of territoriality. Mean population density ranged from 0.9 to 3.03 individuals/ha. Our results indicate that multiple mates were available for both sexes, characterizing a promiscuous mating system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalMammalian Biology
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Density estimation
  • Home-range overlap
  • Home-range size
  • Rodent
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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