Authors: FARAZ AKRIM, HIRA FATIMA, SAIDIA NAZIR, TARIQ MAHMOOD, RIAZ HUSSAIN, MUHAMMAD SAJID NADEEM
Abstract: The small Indian mongoose acts as a biological control agent for rodents, snakes, and many insects in agroecosystems. Its reproductive physiology has been studied mostly from its introduced range. We investigated the reproductive pattern of the female small Indian mongoose on the Potohar Plateau, i.e. its native range. We found a male:female ratio of 0.67 (n = 52); only 16% of the live-trapped females were found to be pregnant. Elevated estradiol and progesterone levels were found during March to May. LH levels showed 2 peaks: the first during March (25.5 mIU/mL) and the second in September (29.8 mIU/mL); however, FSH levels were almost the same. Light microscopic sections (H & E stained) of the ovary showed mature Graafian follicles during February, corpora lutea (early gestation) during March, and maintenance of prominent corpora lutea inside the ovary during April (late gestation period); however, during June, no corpora lutea were observed in the ovary, indicating the lactational phase. Average litter size was 2.83 ± 0.14 (by visual observation), 3 ± 0.24 (by counts of placental scars), and 3.2 ± 0.37 (by counts of developing embryos). The study concludes that the small Indian mongoose breeds twice a year in its native range.
Keywords: Reproduction, hormones, histology, ovary, litter size, breeding season
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