• rhesus macaque;
  • Macaca mulatta;
  • reproduction;
  • laboratory breeding;
  • birth: sex ratio;
  • fetal wastage;
  • seasonality;
  • colony management


Reproduction data from 60 wild-caught and 16 captive-born, hand-reared female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were examined. Both groups had been maintained in a controlled laboratory environment, the wild-caught for a minimum of 10 years and the captive-born for a minimum of 5 years. All were bred to wild-caught males. Animals of both sexes were individually caged unless being bred. Data from 662 pregnancies indicated that, although seasonal breeding became attenuated in the laboratory, it did not disappear. Neither pregnancy outcome nor number of matings necessary for conception was affected by increasing parity or prior occurrence of fetal wastage or hysterotomy. Nor did hysterotomy affect the potential for a subsequent vaginal delivery. The number of matings necessary for conception were shown to be a useful predictor of animals that should be culled from the breeding colony. Birthweights of infants of wild-caught females, but only male infants of house-born females, increased with parity of the mother. Parity had only minimal effect on gestation length. Conception was shown to occur infrequently at less than 100 days postpartum even when animals were not lactating and were rebred begining as early as 56 days postpartum. Summary data were presented for pregnancy outcome, gestation length, infant birth weight, and sex for both groups of animals.