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Reproduction of pseudomys novaehollandiae muridae in the wild



Reproduction of pseudomys novaehollandiae muridae in the wild



Australian Wildlife Research 7(3): 385-402



A total of 291 P. novaehollandiae were observed during a 4 yr study in the Nelson Bay and Smith Lake regions of New South Wales [Australia]. Reproductive organs were examined from males and females. May 1972-May 1974; reproductive condition of females was noted during a CMR [capture-mark-release] study, Aug. 1974-July 1976. Breeding seasons (conceptions and births) occurred between Aug. and early Jan. (4-5 mo.) in the first 3 yr and between Sept. and March (7 mo.) in the last year. Second-year females produced 3 or 4 litters in short seasons, 4 or 5 litters in the long season and up to 20 offspring/season. First-year females produced 1 litter in short seasons and 1 or 2 litters in the long season. Mean litter size was 4.56 (2-6). Ovarian follicles were largest in Sept. and smallest in May. Small, inactive CL [corpora lutea] persisted in parous females until May. Placental scars were present in all sampled months. Vaginae remained closed during the non-breeding season. In mature males testes and epididymides contained sperm from July-March. Vesicular, prostate and preputial glands were enlarged and secretory from Sept.-Dec. Testes were smallest and least developed in May and June. Males were divided into 5 categories depending on age and overall reproductive condition. Sexual maturity was reached in the breeding season of birth by some males (33%) and females (13-88%). More females matured early when population density was low. Food abundance and quality may have been important variables in regulating the timing of the breeding season.

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Accession: 006315943

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