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Ultrasonic courtship vocalizations in wild house mice: spectrographic analyses


Hoffmann, F; Musolf, K; Penn, D J (2012). Ultrasonic courtship vocalizations in wild house mice: spectrographic analyses. Journal of Ethology, 30(1):173-180.

Abstract

House mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during courtship, which are sexually dimorphic and function to attract mates. Spectrographic analyses of laboratory mice show that USVs are surprisingly complex and have features of song. In this study, we conducted the first spectral and temporal analyses of recordings from wild house mice (F1 from wild-caught Mus musculus musculus ). Inspection of the spectral shape of syllables shows that the USVs from wild mice can be classified by both frequency and duration, and the most apparent distinction is between low- versus high-frequency calls. High-frequency calls of wild mice seem to be emitted at a much higher frequency range than previously found in some laboratory mice. Interestingly, we found that 20% of males do not vocalize at all, though the reason for their behaviour is unclear. Future studies are needed to determine what kind of information is conveyed in these complex vocalizations, and why some males appear to be non-vocalizers.

House mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during courtship, which are sexually dimorphic and function to attract mates. Spectrographic analyses of laboratory mice show that USVs are surprisingly complex and have features of song. In this study, we conducted the first spectral and temporal analyses of recordings from wild house mice (F1 from wild-caught Mus musculus musculus ). Inspection of the spectral shape of syllables shows that the USVs from wild mice can be classified by both frequency and duration, and the most apparent distinction is between low- versus high-frequency calls. High-frequency calls of wild mice seem to be emitted at a much higher frequency range than previously found in some laboratory mice. Interestingly, we found that 20% of males do not vocalize at all, though the reason for their behaviour is unclear. Future studies are needed to determine what kind of information is conveyed in these complex vocalizations, and why some males appear to be non-vocalizers.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:12 Mar 2012 14:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:32
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0289-0771
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10164-011-0312-y

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