Although analyzing reproductive hormones provides insight into reproduction, reproductive endocrinology remains understudied in most free-ranging organisms due to difficulties obtaining and preserving biological samples. This study examined differences in fecal hormone (progesterone and estradiol) metabolites at different reproductive stages and determined the probability that a female bat (Seba’s short-tailed fruit bats, Carollia perspicillata) was in metestrus or pregnancy by relating vaginal cytology with hormone concentrations. We examined fifty-three females collected throughout the reproductive season for the presence of a conceptus, and an additional fifteen that were lactating. In addition, groups of cells (superficial, intermediate, and parabasal cells) in exfoliate vaginal cytology were quantified for each individual to further characterize stage of reproduction. Progesterone and estradiol concentrations increased from estrus through early pregnancy and then decreased into late pregnancy. From late pregnancy to early lactation progesterone levels continued to decrease whereas estradiol levels increased. Superficial cell proportions were higher during metestrus than during pregnancy and were an effective predictor for these two phases of the reproductive cycle.
|Translated title of the contribution||Variation of vaginal cytology, progesterone and estradiol metabolites in Seba’s short-tailed fruit bat during the estrous cycle and gestation|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 2018|
- Vaginal cytology