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1 December 2006 IS THE CAPE DUNE MOLE-RAT, BATHYERGUS SUILLUS (RODENTIA: BATHYERGIDAE), A SEASONAL OR ASEASONAL BREEDER?
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Abstract

The Cape dune mole-rat (Bathyergus suillus) is a solitary, seasonally breeding, rodent mole. Body mass, reproductive tract morphometrics, ovarian histology, and plasma estrogen and progesterone concentrations were measured in females during 1 calendar year to elucidate if this species had an inclination toward seasonal breeding. Qualitative analyses of ovarian histology revealed that females retain the potential for ovulation and subsequent production of corpora lutea from early austral winter to spring (June–October). Seasonal differences were found in ovarian morphometrics and hormone concentrations that are associated with follicular activation from April and subsequent conceptions from June to November. Body mass, reproductive tract morphometrics, testicular histology, and plasma testosterone concentrations were obtained for males over the period of 1 calendar year. There was a gradual increase in seminiferous tubule diameter from May to October, which was mirrored by fluctuations in testosterone concentration. The current data support a strong seasonality to reproduction in the Cape dune mole-rat from April to October with a peak that is linked to the period of maximal rainfall within the distributional range of this species.

L. Hart, M. J. O'Riain, J. U M. Jarvis, and N. C. Bennett "IS THE CAPE DUNE MOLE-RAT, BATHYERGUS SUILLUS (RODENTIA: BATHYERGIDAE), A SEASONAL OR ASEASONAL BREEDER?," Journal of Mammalogy 87(6), (1 December 2006). https://doi.org/10.1644/05-MAMM-A-411R2.1
Accepted: 1 May 2006; Published: 1 December 2006
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