Effects of photoperiod on the reproductive condition of Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus) from an equatorial population

Scott Nunes, Teresa L. McElhinny, Megan M. Mahoney, Laura Smale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of photoperiod on the reproductive condition of male and female Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus) descended from members of an equatorial population trapped 2°S of the equator. Study animals housed in 12:12 light:dark (LD) cycles were transferred either to short photoperiod (9:15) or long photoperiod (15:9) for 9weeks (males) or 11 weeks (females), and various reproductive parameters were assessed. We observed no differences between short- and long-day males with respect to plasma concentration of testosterone, testicular mass, seminal vesicle mass, or spermatogenesis. Similarly, we observed no differences between short- and long-day females with respect to oestrous cycles, uterine mass, follicle size, or presence of corpora lutea. Reproductive parameters of male and female A. niloticus housed in short- and long photoperiods were similar to those typically observed among animals descended from the same equatorial population and housed in LD 12:12. Thus, photoperiod appears not to elicit changes in reproductive condition among A. niloticus from populations whose native habitat lies within 2° of the equator. These data contrast with the results of other studies indicating that photoperiod alters reproductive condition in A. niloticus populations living >10° from the equator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arvicanthis
  • Equatorial
  • Grass rat
  • Photoperiod
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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