Previous data on crested porcupine reproduction biology were mostly collected in captivity or semi-captivity due to its elusive, burrowing and mainly nocturnal habits. Between 2017 and 2019 the reproductive behaviour (i.e., intrapair mounting and copulation, birth and parental care) of free-ranging crested porcupine was documented and described. Nightly rhythms of single and multiple mounting occurred throughout the year while only two copulation events were recorded. Three months after both copulation events, the birth of porcupettes (porcupine < 5 kg) was recorded. A stochastic phase characterized by an articulate courtship with distinct behavioural patterns always preceded each mounting event. After the stochastic phase, the presenting of the female evoked by Nose-Quill contact behaviour, occurred in 83.8% (n = 182) of mounting events, while in 16.1% (n = 35) a spontaneous presenting of the female occurred. The average duration of copulation lasted 24 s (SD = 7 s) with 17 thrusting (SD = 5.5 thrusting). Births of porcupettes occurred throughout the year from 1 to 3 times per pair per year and the litter size observed ranged from 1 to 2 porcupettes. The first emerging of porcupettes from burrow occurred at 10–15 days after birth. Parents and sub-adults of the family actively perform parental care and the permanence of sub-adults within the family (i.e., from birth to dispersal) resulted to be at least 1 year. This investigation provides new useful insights on porcupine reproductive behaviour in the wild. Such new knowledge may be useful to the management of porcupines in wild, semiwild and captive condition as well as to delineate the key habitat desiderata of this rodent.

Reproductive behaviour in free-ranging crested porcupine Hystrix cristata L., 1758

Coppola F.
Primo
;
Felicioli A.
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Previous data on crested porcupine reproduction biology were mostly collected in captivity or semi-captivity due to its elusive, burrowing and mainly nocturnal habits. Between 2017 and 2019 the reproductive behaviour (i.e., intrapair mounting and copulation, birth and parental care) of free-ranging crested porcupine was documented and described. Nightly rhythms of single and multiple mounting occurred throughout the year while only two copulation events were recorded. Three months after both copulation events, the birth of porcupettes (porcupine < 5 kg) was recorded. A stochastic phase characterized by an articulate courtship with distinct behavioural patterns always preceded each mounting event. After the stochastic phase, the presenting of the female evoked by Nose-Quill contact behaviour, occurred in 83.8% (n = 182) of mounting events, while in 16.1% (n = 35) a spontaneous presenting of the female occurred. The average duration of copulation lasted 24 s (SD = 7 s) with 17 thrusting (SD = 5.5 thrusting). Births of porcupettes occurred throughout the year from 1 to 3 times per pair per year and the litter size observed ranged from 1 to 2 porcupettes. The first emerging of porcupettes from burrow occurred at 10–15 days after birth. Parents and sub-adults of the family actively perform parental care and the permanence of sub-adults within the family (i.e., from birth to dispersal) resulted to be at least 1 year. This investigation provides new useful insights on porcupine reproductive behaviour in the wild. Such new knowledge may be useful to the management of porcupines in wild, semiwild and captive condition as well as to delineate the key habitat desiderata of this rodent.
2021
Coppola, F.; Felicioli, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1141117
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