The influence of egg size and colour on egg consumption by the Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus)

Aurora M. Castilla, Hugo Robles, Stefan Van Dongen, Erik Matthysen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that the Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus) consumes smaller eggs in preference to larger ones and that the colour of the eggs (brown or white spotted) does not influence the egg consumption rate. Eggs of three galliform species (the quail, Coturnix japonica; the red legged partridge, Alectoris rufa; the chicken, Gallus domesticus) were offered to 14 individual hedgehogs under experimental conditions. Overall, the hedgehogs consumed 107 of the 225 eggs offered (48%) in 5 days. The colour of the eggs did not influence the rates of egg consumption. However, egg size had a significant influence on the rates of egg consumption. Generalized linear mixed models showed that hedgehogs preferred to consume smaller quail eggs (91%, n = 65) than intermediate partridge eggs (44%, n = 110), whereas the largest chicken eggs (n = 50) were not consumed at all. There was a strong inter-individual variation in egg consumption, particularly of partridge eggs, from 0 to 100%, whereas individual variation in consumption of quail eggs was lower, from 70 to 100%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Atelerix
eggs
Erinaceidae
egg size
partridges
quails
egg
color
Alectoris rufa
chickens
chicken eggs
individual variation
consumption

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Egg hardness
  • Individual variation
  • Management decisions
  • Predation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

The influence of egg size and colour on egg consumption by the Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus). / Castilla, Aurora M.; Robles, Hugo; Van Dongen, Stefan; Matthysen, Erik.

In: Journal of Ethology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.2009, p. 125-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Castilla, Aurora M. ; Robles, Hugo ; Van Dongen, Stefan ; Matthysen, Erik. / The influence of egg size and colour on egg consumption by the Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus). In: Journal of Ethology. 2009 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 125-130.
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