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|Title:||Reproductive biology of an old endemic murid rodent of Australia, the Spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis: adaptations for life in the arid zone|
|Citation:||Integrative Zoology (online), 2011; 6(4):321-333|
|Publisher:||Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd|
|William G. Breed and Chris M. Leigh|
|Abstract:||The Spinifex hopping mouse (Notomys alexis Thomas, 1922) is an arid adapted Australo–Papuan old endemic rodent that undergoes boom and bust population cycles. In this communication, we review our findings on the timing of reproduction and the potential reproductive rate of this species. To investigate the first question, the reproductive condition of adult females, and occurrence of immatures, in a population on a cattle station in central Australia was determined and, for the second, data from a laboratory colony compared to those previously published on closely related species in other environments. The findings show that, at least in the population at the times that monitoring was performed, reproductive activity was only taking place in spring and early summer, whereas the laboratory study indicates that females have a similar gestation length and litter size to those of most close relatives occurring in other environments. Males have extremely small testes and store relatively few sperm. The findings suggest that Notomys alexis might show some seasonality of reproduction at least in this region of central Australia and that this species does not have a higher reproductive rate than that of related species in other, more predictable, environments.|
|Keywords:||arid environment; hopping mouse; reproduction|
|Rights:||© 2011 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS|
|Appears in Collections:||Anatomical Sciences publications|
Environment Institute publications
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