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Keywords:

  • spider monkey;
  • seasonality;
  • testosterone;
  • LH;
  • sperm parameters

Abstract

There are no reported data on hormonal fluctuations in black-handed spider monkey males. On previous research about the reproductive physiology of this monkey we have found that during the dry season females show ovulatory estrogen peaks and males present the best quality semen. As part of an ongoing research, in this study we assessed seasonal variations in the concentration of serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T) in three adult spider monkey males to corroborate the seasonal reproductive synchrony. At the same time sperm count and motility were evaluated to search for any correlation between those sperm parameters and hormonal concentrations. We took blood and semen samples (by electroejaculation) of anesthetized males throughout the rainy (June–September) and dry (October–May) months. Our results revealed that T and LH were higher throughout the dry season and there was a significant correlation between T concentration and sperm count. Although higher during the dry season, sperm motility tended to correlate with testosterone and LH levels. These results demonstrated that black-handed spider monkeys have a tendency to show a seasonal pattern of reproduction being the dry season the most likely time to achieve fertilization. Am. J. Primatol. 71:427–431, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.