Some glirid species (Graphiurus and Glis) are territorial and solitary except during the breeding season. Glis males have been observed fighting at this time, suggesting that they are polygynous. Nowak (1999) noted that while Glis males have been known to remain with females to help care for their young in captivity, in the wild males most likely leave to pursue other females. The mating system for most glirid genera has not been reported.
Mating System: polygynous
Glirids breed in the spring and summer, though wild populations of edible dormice (Glis glis) may skip reproduction altogether in years of low food abundance (Ruf et al. 2006). Females bear one to two litters per year, with 2 to 10 young per litter. The gestation period ranges from 21 to 30 days. Young open their eyes after about three weeks, and are weaned and independent after four to six weeks (Nowak 1999).
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous
Before giving birth, females construct soft, moss-lined nests in which to raise their offspring. Glirids are eutherian mammals; therefore, females provide their young with nutrients through the placenta and then through their milk. In captivity, male Glis have been known to help protect and clean their young, but this behavior has not been observed in the wild (Nowak 1999).
Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)
- Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, v. 2. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Ruf, T., J. Fietz, W. Schlund, C. Bieber. 2006. High survival in poor years: Life history tactics adapted to mast seeding in the edible dormouse. Ecology, 87(2): 372-381.