Gestation period and between-birth intervals in Carollia perspicillata (Phyllostomatidae, Chiroptera)

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Abstract

Several aspects of reproduction were investigated in a captive colony of Carollia perspicillata.

The gestation period of four females was found to be 125, 121, 108 and 105 days, respectively.

Twenty-eight to 32 days post-partum sexual receptivity seemed to occur in females, as only during this period copulations resulted in pregnancy.

The statistical median of the distribution of between-birth intervals (B.B.I.) fell into the class of 121–130 days and the shortest B.B.I, was 120 days.

Young bats gave birth for the first time at the age of 381±25 days (mean±S.D.; N = 6), the youngest female being 350 days when she gave birth. Thus female leaf-nosed bats seem to reach sexual maturity at approximately nine months of age.

The synchronization of sexual activity with seasons that was typical under field conditions was maintained during the first year of captivity, but faded within four years.

The data presented suggest that the females of this colony may exceed the expected pattern of two births per year and at least three females gave birth to eight young within 36 months.

Increase in population density seemed to cause infanticide and a reduction of the number of individuals housed together led to a marked increase in rearing success.

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