Mammalian Biology

, Volume 79, Issue 4, pp 225–229 | Cite as

Seasonal changes in testosterone levels in wild Mexican cottontails Sylvilagus cunicularius

  • Fernando Aguilar
  • Heiko G. Rödel
  • Jorge Vázquez
  • Letícia Nicolas
  • Luisa Rodríguez-Martínez
  • Amando Bautista
  • Margarita Martínez-GómezEmail author
Original Investigation


We studied serum testosterone levels in the endemic Mexican cottontail, Sylvilagus cunicularius, which has been reported to show seasonal breeding. Animals were trapped in the wild and in a field enclosure in the National Park La Malinche in central Mexico over a period of five years. Serum testosterone (T) levels were quantified by ELISA from blood samples. T levels of adult males were lowest around 4 months after the onset of the annual reproductive season and were already high prior to the onset of breeding. As expected, the T levels of adult females were consistently lower than in males, and there were no differences in T level with respect to female reproductive state. There were no detectable sex-specific differences in juveniles and subadults, but there was a marked increase in T levels between juvenile and adult males. Overall, our study clearly reflects and confirms the seasonal breeding strategy of this species, showing high similarities to the much better studied European rabbit.


Hormones La Malinche Net traps Reproductive state Seasonal reproduction 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Aguilar
    • 1
  • Heiko G. Rödel
    • 2
  • Jorge Vázquez
    • 3
  • Letícia Nicolas
    • 3
  • Luisa Rodríguez-Martínez
    • 3
  • Amando Bautista
    • 3
  • Margarita Martínez-Gómez
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaMexico
  2. 2.Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris CitéLaboratoire d’Ethologie Expérimental et ComparéeVilletaneuseFrance
  3. 3.Centro Tlaxcala de Biología de la ConductaUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaMexico
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Celulary FisiologíaInstituto de Investigaciones BiomédicasUNAMMexico

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