Spermatozoan numbers and characteristics of associated organs in male white-tailed deer during the breeding season

John D. Peles, Olin E. Rhodes, Michael H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Short-term changes in testicular spermatozoa, testes weight, testes length, epididymes weight, epididymal spermatozoa, and body weight of adult and yearling male white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780) were examined over a 9-week period that included the peak of the breeding season in South Carolina. Mean values for all characteristics were significantly greater in adults compared to yearlings. Values for reproductive characteristics tended to be highest during the last week in October or the first week in November and decreased over the course of the investigation. Body weight of adults decreased from late October through early December, whereas body weight of yearlings fluctuated only slightly throughout the 9-week period. Significant correlations were observed among all reproductive characteristics and body weight was highly correlated with all characteristics except testicular spermatozoa. Values for reproductive characteristics differed significantly between the right and left sides of the reproductive tracts. Results demonstrate the occurrence of short-term changes in reproductive capabilities of white-tailed deer that are relevant for the development of management strategies for this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalActa Theriologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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