Timing of Mating, Sperm Dynamics: DISCUSSION(8)

Male capture rates remained relatively high until Day 21 of the rut (26 August), after which time male trapping rate declined significantly. A similar pattern of increased male activity later in the rut was obtained by radio-tracking studies and was shown to be associated primarily with movements between communal nests possibly in an effort to obtain mating opportunities. Trapping and radio-tracking data collected by Lazenby-Cohen and Cockburn suggest that mating in the agile Antechinus occurs in selected communal nest trees and that the mating system used by this species is that of lek promiscuity. No evidence was obtained in the present study to support or refute this theory. birth control yasmin

Field data from this study on the reproductive biology of the agile Antechinus correlate well with those obtained previously from laboratory-based studies and support the suggestion that successful breeding in this species is indeed an exercise in reproductive brinkmanship. The effects of population density on the timing of mating, the length of sperm storage, and ovulation require further attention. The data gathered from this study will allow more accurate identification of periods of increased mating activity and ovulation, and may aid in the design of experiments that could test the hypothesis of lek promiscuity in this species and the role of both sexes in determining the outcome of sperm competition events.


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