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Keywords:

  • estrous cycle length;
  • testicular size;
  • breeding seasonality

Abstract

Four pairs of captive crowned lemurs (Lemur coronatus) were studied during their annual breeding season in order to obtain baseline data on their reproductive biology for comparison with other Lemur species and to enhance their captive breeding success. Vaginal smears, testicular measurements, and records of the Duke University Primate Center provided the presented data. During a single breeding season, females cycled an average of three times, with an average cycle length of 34 days. Cycles were detected between November and March. Vaginal estrus and copulations were limited to one day per cycle. After 125 days of gestation females gave birth to one or two young. Both sexes attained sexual maturity at an age of about 20 months. Mean male testis size peaked in late December; at the same time, three of the females experienced their first estrus. Based on all available data, there was a significant positive correlation between cycle length and gestation length in the genus Lemur.