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The annual cycle of oviduct in Tarentola m. mauritanica L. (Reptilia, Gekkonidae)

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The oviduct of Tarentola mauritanica from southern Italy can be divided cranio-caudally into 5 regions: infundibulum that opens into the coelomic cavity, tuba, isthmus, uterus and vagina which opens into the cloaca. The changing morphology of these regions during the reproductive cycle is described. Unlike the male, the genital duct (epididymis) which is fully developed and secretory throughout the year, the oviduct shows a marked annual cycle with maximum activity in May-July. Seasonality would allow optimization of the reproductive effort. This gecko shows three ovulatory waves, namely in late May, June and July; at each time one calcareous cgg is produced per ovary. There is a short period of egg retention in the oviduct. The main breeding period takes place in spring; sometimes a second optional breeding may occur in autumn. Sperm is preserved inside the crypts of the tuba until the next spring.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology; Univ of Naples, Via Mezzocannone, 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy; 2: Department of Comparative and Evolutionary Biology, University of Naples, Via Mezzocannone, 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy.


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