The lizard Anolis carolinensis ovulates a single egg alternately from each ovary every 14 days. The ovulated egg enters the ipsilateral oviduct, acquires a shell, and is oviposited 18 or 19 days later. Thus, there is only a single egg in one of the oviducts (one-egg condition) during most of the estrous cycle, but there is a 4-5 day period when a mature, shelled egg is in one oviduct while a recently ovulated egg is in the contralateral oviduct (two-egg condition). Analysis of ovarian follicular diameters indicates that the largest follicle in a single ovary exhibits a growth spurt about halfway through its 28-day vitellogenic growth phase. The corpus luteum, once formed from the ovulated follicle, exhibits a linear decrease in weight, becoming fully regressed just before oviposition of the egg in the ipsilateral oviduct. Plasma concentrations of estradiol-17 beta and progesterone are high in two-egg animals. After oviposition, plasma concentrations of progesterone are still high in one-egg animals whereas those of estradiol-17 beta are much lower. These ovarian and hormonal changes during the estrous cycle are discussed in relation to the probable sources of estradiol-17 beta and progesterone, the control of the alternating pattern of ovulation and oviposition, and the role of steroid hormones in female sexual receptivity in this species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology