*Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Reproduction in male Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Mammalia: Chiroptera)
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 172, Issue 1, pages 101–122, January 1974
How to Cite
Racey, P. A. and Tam, W. H. (1974), Reproduction in male Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Journal of Zoology, 172: 101–122. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1974.tb04096.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 12 June 1973
The annual reproductive cycle has been investigated in the male pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus. Spermatogenesis occurs during summer and spermatozoa are produced in August and September. The seminiferous tubules then regress rapidly but sperm are stored throughout winter in the cauda epididymidis. Little change is apparent in the morphology of the Leydig cells throughout the year, and histochemical studies have revealed no seasonal differences in the occurrence of enzymes involved in steroidogenesis. The percentage yields of testosterone and androstenedione after incubation of testis and adrenal tissues in vitro with tritiated pregnenolone have been determined and measurements made of the concentration of these hormones in testes and whole blood. Although the highest levels of these androgens are synchronous with spermatogenesis, both continue to be produced by the testes during winter. Studies in castrated bats have confirmed these observations and indicate that the activity of the accessory reproductive organs during winter is dependent on testicular androgens. The testicular cycle of the pipistrelle is not thought to be complicated by adrenal androgenesis, or storage of androgens in the brown fat. The interrelationships between reproduction and hibernation in bats are discussed.