Shchipanov N.A., Demidova T.B. 2020. A test for studying sociability of the common shrew, Sorex araneus // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.19. No.2. P.105–111 [in English]. 

Nikolay A. Shchipanov [], Tatiana B. Demidova [], A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 33, Moscow 119071, Russia.

doi: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.19.2.01

ABSTRACT. The common shrew Sorex araneus is one of the least social mammals with chiefly aggressive interactions. Although this species is usually considered territorial, the behavioral mechanisms of the social system are not entirely clear. Sociability is the motivation to engage in social contact, the conflict in the case of the common shrew, in the presence of both situational and individual differences, can be an important factor in the use of space in this species. This aspect of behavior of shrews was not studied. We propose a simplified preference test which could be used in field studies. In contrast to the classic Crawley three chamber test we performed trials in one-chamber arena. The test implies assay of preference of an area adjoined to wire-net container with a stimulus animal versus an area-adjoined empty container. The distance, the velocity, and the duration were considered the principal variables. Indexes permitting assay the mobility in a zone and preference of an area is suggested. This publication is devoted to the description of the test and discussing of the preliminary results.

KEY WORDS: sociability, preference test, Sorex araneus.

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