Female novelty and the courtship behavior of male guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)

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Abstract

In several rodent species, an increase or recovery of sexual behavior can be observed when sexually satiated males are placed in contact with a novel mate. In order to assess the influence of female novelty on the courtship behavior of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), four adult males were observed during four daily 15-min sessions while interacting with the same pregnant female (same-female sessions). A new female was presented during the fifth session (switched-female session). The duration of behavioral categories was obtained from videotape records using an observational software. From the first to the second session, all males decreased the time allocated to investigating (sniffing and licking), following, and mounting the female, and that response did not recover by the end of the same-female sessions. No similar decreasing tendencies were detected in the circling or rumba categories. A marked increase of investigating occurred in all males from the last same-female session (8.1, 11.9, 15.1 and 17.3 percent session time) to the switched-female one (16.4, 18.4, 37.1 and 28.9 percent session time, respectively). Increases in following and circling were recorded in three of four males, and full-blown recovery of mounting in one male. No consistent changes in the females' responses to males (following or attacking) were observed throughout testing. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that guinea pig males recognize individual females and that courtship responses may suffer a habituation/recovery process controlled by mate novelty.

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Cohn, D. W. H., Tokumaru, R. S., & Ades, C. (2004). Female novelty and the courtship behavior of male guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 37(6), 847–851. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2004000600010

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