*Ecology Division, D.S.I.R., P.O. Box 30466, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
Colour change of Mountain hares (Lepus timidus scoticus) in north-east Scotland
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 162, Issue 3, pages 345–358, November 1970
How to Cite
Flux, J. E. C. (1970), Colour change of Mountain hares (Lepus timidus scoticus) in north-east Scotland. Journal of Zoology, 162: 345–358. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1970.tb01270.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 12 May 1970
A two-year field study of colour change in a population of Mountain hares showed that the rate of colour change was significantly faster in a warm spring than in a cold one. The same result was found in individually marked wild hares, indicating that the response is not due to differences in age or sex ratios. It is postulated that the white coat is for camouflage, and the duration for which it is worn is correlated with temperature because of the coat's thickness. Moulting is probably timed by daylength, and the rate of moult affected by temperature.