Copulatory plugs of round-tailed ground squirrels (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus)

Karen E. Munroe, John L. Koprowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sperm competition, where sperm from more than one male competes to fertilize eggs within the reproductive tract of a female, is prevalent in mammals. In rodents, this competition often has led to copulatory plugs, a passive defense against further sperm competition. Copulatory plugs have been reported in many species of sciurids; however, not in round-tailed ground squirrels (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus). Here we report two observations of copulatory plugs in round-tailed ground squirrels and suggest they represent an indirect form of mate guarding in affording males a chance to seek additional mating opportunities as seen in other species of rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-210
Number of pages3
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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