Motivational Systems of Agonistic Behavior in Muroid Rodents
Motor Patterns of Patrol/Marking Page 24



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...motor patterns
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"Sand-bathing" behavior appears to be a complex which includes both ventral and flank-rub motor patterns. Eisenberg and Kleiman [1974] have suggested that in many cases it may function to deposit pheromones from ventral or flank glands upon a sand substrate. It has been reported from Ps obesus [Daly and Daly, 1975], Rh opimus [Goltzman et al, 1977], three species of Neotoma [Howe, 1977], G gerbillus, G nanus, T indica, Mer unguiculatus, Mer hurrianae, Pachyuromys duprassi, and P crinitus [Eisenberg, 1967]. It is rare in other species of Peromyscus however [Eisenberg, 1968]. Flank-rub as an isolated motor pattern has only been reported in conjunction with offense [Johnston, 1977a; Lehman and Adams, 1977] as noted earlier.

Chin-rubbing or cheek-rubbing has been reported as a scent-marking motor pattern in a number of muroid rodent species. These include Cri gambianus [Ewer, 1967], Mer unguiculatus [Thiessen and Yahr, 1969], Rh opimus [Goltzman et al, 1977], N alexis [Stanley, 1971], and Ps obesus [Daly and Daly, 1975].

A "digging" motor pattern, in which the animal pushes loose dirt or sand under its body, may at times function as a scent-marking behavior, impregnating the sand with pheromones from urine or midventral or preputial glands. Digging behavior has been reported to accompany social interactions in Mi agrestis [Clarke, 1956], C glareolus [Mironov, 1976 , Mer unguiculatus [Swanson, 1974], D groenlandicus [ Allin and Banks, 1968], L trimucronatus [Banks and Popham, 1975], and M musculus [Wilsoncroft, 1975].

Two unusual scent-marking motor patterns have been reported from Cr gambianus, O irroratus, and Arvicola terrestris. In the first two species there is a peculiar motor pattern in which the animal elevates the posterior part of the body when defecating [Ewer, 1967; Davis, 1972]. In the latter species, the animal scratches its flank glands with the hind foot and then stamps on the ground, apparently transferring pheromones from the glands to the ground [Frank, 1956; Terekhina, 1974].

We have suggested previously that the active secretion of substances including pheromones from sebaceous glands of the face may be a motor pattern of patrol/marking [Lehman and Adams, 1977]. Facial grooming was associated with patrol/marking activity by R norvegicus during social interactions, which we suggested might be a grooming response to tactile sensations arising from secretion of substances from the Harderian and other facial glands [Thiessen et al, 1976]. By spreading these secretions onto the vibrissae, which flutter in the air with enormous surface area exposed, the animal could efficiently "broadcast" his odor to nearby conspecifics. According to this analysis while the secretion of the substances would be a motor pattern of patrol/marking, the grooming itself could be a response to tactile sensations and not necessarily a motor pattern of patrol/marking. Enhanced facial grooming following social interactions has been seen not only in the rat, but also in Mer unguiculatus [Daly, 1977] and Mes auratus [Johnston, 1975].

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