, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 95-98
Date: 24 May 2006

Familiarity and partner preferences in female common voles, Microtus arvalis

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Captive female common voles (Microtus arvalis) had a clear social preference for familiar males in a standard preference test. Cohabitation for a short period resulted in preferences for familiar partners, and females spent eight times more time in body contact with a familiar male than with an unfamiliar male. Females also displayed stranger-directed aggression. Our results suggest that the common vole is a species with selective partner preferences and a tendency to form tight social relationships and stable male–female associations.