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Gonadal cycles of the western australian long necked turtles chelodina oblonga and chelodina steindachneri chelonia chelidae


, : Gonadal cycles of the western australian long necked turtles chelodina oblonga and chelodina steindachneri chelonia chelidae. Records of the Western Australian Museum 14(2): 189-198

Seasonal changes of testis volume, spermatogenesis, follicular development, and oviducal eggs for preserved specimens of Chelodina oblonga and Chelodina steindachneri are reported. Testis cycles of both species show a typical temperate zone chelonian pattern. The germinal epithelium is quiescent, during winter, spermatogonia start to multiply in spring, followed by spermatocytogenesis in late spring and summer. Spermiogenesis peaks in January and February in C. steindachneri and in April in C. oblonga. Spermination starts during summer and continues until winter. In C. oblonga, follicular enlargement starts during summer and continues until spring. Oviducal eggs were found in October and November, and up to three clutches may be laid between September and January. Females have a reproductive potential of 25-40 eggs per year. Follices of C. steindachneri start to enlarge in late spring. During summer and autumn, there is a stable phase without enlargement. Vitellogenesis is completed before ovulation is spring. Only one clutch of seven to eight eggs is laid per season. This pattern seems to be an adaptation to a relatively long period of aestivation.

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