Reproductive behaviour of the southern-hairy nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)

Hogan, Lindsay, Phillips, Clive, Lisle, Allan, Horsup, Alan, Janssen, Tina and Johnston, Stephen (2010) Reproductive behaviour of the southern-hairy nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Australian Journal of Zoology, 58 6: 350-361. doi:10.1071/ZO10068

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Author Hogan, Lindsay
Phillips, Clive
Lisle, Allan
Horsup, Alan
Janssen, Tina
Johnston, Stephen
Title Reproductive behaviour of the southern-hairy nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)
Journal name Australian Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-959X
1446-5698
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/ZO10068
Volume 58
Issue 6
Start page 350
End page 361
Total pages 12
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is under threat as its current distribution range and population size is declining. The low reproductive rates observed for this species, both in the wild and within captivity, are a cause for concern; as such this study was designed to provide a comprehensive account of reproductive behaviour in L. latifrons. The behaviour of four groups of captive animals (each 1 male : 2 female) was remotely monitored for 14 months using a digital video-surveillance system. Using this technology, 13 distinctive reproductive-based behaviours were identified and recorded; each behaviour was allocated to one of two categories: courtship/guarding or mating. The courtship-to-mating ritual was made up of six consecutive phases: investigation, attraction, chase, restraint, coitus and recovery. In total, 423 courtship and 49 mating bouts were observed from five (2 male : 3 female) wombats. Courtship behaviour was observed on 116 days, with a mean bout number of 3.6 +/- 0.2 per day and a mean total daily time of 29.8 +/- 1.8 min. Mating was observed on 24 days, with a mean bout number of 2.1 +/- 0.3 per day and a mean total daily time of 100.1 +/- 9.8 min. Courtship occurred over the entire enclosure area and three distinctive courtship locomotor patterns were identified: spiral-circles, straight-lines and random. Matings occurred only in closed spaces and were always accompanied by courtship behaviour. In contrast, only 68% of all courtship days were associated with a mating event. Receptivity in the female wombats lasted for 13 h and the behavioural signs of oestrus were so subtle that only the reaction/interest of the male could be used for its detection. The covert reproductive behaviours identified for female L. latifrons closely match those previously reported for captive common wombats and may relate to this species' need to conserve energy.
Keyword Coitus
Oestrus
Receptivity
Reproductive behaviour
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 22 Mar 2011, 17:34:47 EST by Mr Allan Lisle on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences