- The male camelid has a tremendous impact on the reproductive performance and genetic improvement of a herd. Despite this, scientific reports on the male in the published literature remain scarce. Approximately only one paper is published on the male for every six papers published on reproduction in the female. In recent years, interest in the male has increased, particularly in semen and its use for artificial insemination. This chapter covers the reproductive physiology of the male with regard to the development of testicles, the disappearance of the penis–prepuce attachment, and the concentrations of testosterone. Finally, the spermatogenic function of testicles, including spermatic reserves, and the relationship between semen characteristics and fertility of the female are reviewed.
- Most domestic species show regular distinct periods of 'heat' or sexual receptivity. At each 'heat' one or more mature follicles (fluid sacs) on the ovaries ruptures spontaneously releasing an egg (ovulation). The number of follicles depends on the species. Alpaca females do not 'come on heat' but show prolonged periods of sexual receptivity during which time they will allow the male to mate (Fig. 3). Ovulation generally does not occur spontaneously and it is the act of copulation itself which induces ovulation. During copulation, the penis of the male stimulates the vagina and cervix of the female. This stimulation causes the release of hormones from the brain of the female which circulate in the blood to the ovaries and cause final development and ovulation of the ovarian follicle (Fig. 2).