Intraspecific agonistic behaviour was investigated by means of staged encounters in Gerbillurus paeba paeba, G. p. exilis, G. tytonis, G. setzeri and G. vallinus.

Four groups of behaviour were identified by motivational analysis: i.e. “exploratory and solitary”, “aggressive”, “submissive”, and “sexual” behaviour. Frequencies of acts and levels of interaction differed among species and sexes.

Cluster analysis of behaviour data revealed three clusters which agree partially with the karyology and taxonomy of the genus. G. p. paeba and G. tytonis were very aggressive and highly active; female G. p. exilis and G. setzeri less so; while male G. p. exilis and G. vallinus were least aggressive and active, performing more contact-promoting behaviour than other species. A range of social types is exhibited from solitary (G. p. paeba and G. tytonis) through semi-tolerant (G. setzeri and female G. p. exilis) to tolerant (male G. p. exilis and G. vallinus).