Mating strategies of Pampean mouse males
Patterns of space use and sexual dimorphism are frequently used to infer mating systems. We examined body size and home range size and intra- and intersexual overlap degree in order to elucidate mating strategy of Akodon azarae males. We studied spacing patterns using 113 and 129 home ranges established by males and females, respectively, in four 0.25 ha enclosures during the breeding season. Significant differences between sexes in home range size and overlap degree were found. Male home ranges were always larger than those of females. We observed exclusive space use among males and among females. Considering only those males that shared their home ranges with females, average intersexual overlap value was about 50%. Males mainly overlap their home ranges with home ranges of two or three females. Significant differences in body size were found between males and females, with males being larger. We concluded that space use and sexual dimorphism in this species is consistent with patterns characteristic of polygynous rodents, and we propose a polygynous system in A. azarae.