Timing of Mating, Sperm Dynamics: DISCUSSION(1)


The mating strategy of male and female Antechinus, which culminates in the death of all males at the end of the rut, has remained obscure because of the nocturnal and cryptic nature of this species. In the past, results from laboratory and field studies have often appeared to conflict, particularly in regard to mating system, duration and frequency of copulation, and length of sperm storage in relation to ovulation. At our study site, the period of mating was ~6-27 August, which corresponded very closely with that reported previously for this species. All wild males were dead by 4 September.

In this study only 2 of 24 females (~8%) caught by the middle of August (10 days after the first mating was recorded) had mated. This represented ~18% of all mated females caught in this study. Most matings (> 73%) occurred between Days 11 and 18 (16 and 23 August) after the commencement of the rut (i.e., the first recorded mating). flovent inhaler

Using a radiotracer technique, Scott and Tan examined mating success in male Antechinus across the rut. Their data indicated that ~70% of all matings occur between Days 1 and 4 of the rut with less than 30% occurring in the latter half of the mating period. This conflicts with the data obtained in the present study suggesting that few matings occurred early in the rut.


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