Reproduction of the large fruit-eating bat Artibeus lituratus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in a Brazilian Atlantic forest area
In this study we investigated the male testicular activity and the reproductive condition of females in relation to their external reproductive characteristics (pregnant, lactating, post-lactating) in the phyllostomid bat Artibeus lituratus (Olfers, 1818). Five hundred and twenty six individuals were examined (197 males and 329 females) in the period December 2001 to May 2003. Throughout the study most males displayed large scrotal testes. Thirty-three males were randomly selected for histological examination at various times throughout the year and were found to have spermatogenic testes. The reproductive characteristics of the females indicated that they were reproductively active mainly during the wet season. Pregnancy occurs at the end of the dry season and parturition in the wet season. Most individuals captured after this season, mainly the females, were sexually immature. Our results suggest a seasonal monoestrous reproductive pattern for the species; however, adult males being fertile throughout the year could suggest polyoestry. Seasonal polyoestry is a possibility. There was, however, no evidence that females had more than one pregnancy per year.
KeywordsArtibeus lituratus Monoestry Polyoestry Spermatogenesis
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