Mammalian Biology

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 123–126 | Cite as

No evidence for multimodal body mass distributions and body mass-related capture order in wild-caught Damaraland mole-rats

  • Cornelia VoigtEmail author
  • Andries ter Maat
  • Nigel C. Bennett
Short communication


Division of labour among workers is a universal property of eusocial insect societies. For Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis), a eusocial mammal, it was proposed that workers can be divided into morphologically distinct (in terms of body mass) subcastes of frequent and infrequent workers. Here we investigate, by using capture data from a large number of colonies of Damaraland mole-rats, if body mass is multimodally distributed, which may be indicative of worker subcastes and, further, if there is a relationship between body mass and capture order, which may be indicative of morphological specialization for colony defence. Our analysis reveals unimodal body mass distributions for both sexes. Further, there is no evidence for body mass-related differences between individuals in the capture order. These data suggest that body mass is not an indicator of behavioural specialization in Damaraland mole-rats.


Bathyergidae Damaraland mole-rat Body mass Capture order 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Voigt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andries ter Maat
    • 2
  • Nigel C. Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Behavioural NeurobiologyMax Planck Institute for OrnithologySeewiesenGermany

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