Scrotal thermographic profile and seminal characteristics of Mangalarga Marchador stallions bred in the Atlantic Rainforest biome
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to determine the scrotal thermographic profile and to verify the influence of temperature and humidity of the humid tropical climate on testicular temperature and seminal quality of Mangalarga Marchador stallions. The thermal profiles of the proximal, middle, and distal zones of the testicles and total surface temperature (TSTT) were recorded using an FLIR E60bx thermal imager. The average air temperature (°C) and relative humidity (%) were obtained 1, 5, 9, 33, and 66 days before semen collection and showed a mean value of 26.5±2.4 and 80.4±6.0 respectively. The scrotal surface temperature was close to 34°C and there was no variation with the age of the stallion, reproductive activity, and characteristics of the ejaculate (P>0.05). The only significant correlations obtained were between TSTT and minor defects (R = 0.41; P<0.05), between TSTT and total defects (R = 0.46; P<0.01), and between TSTT and percentage of morphologically normal sperm (R = -0.46; P<0.05). It was concluded that the Mangalarga Marchador stallions maintained the testicular temperature within favorable conditions for spermatogenesis, demonstrating the efficiency of testicular thermoregulation mechanisms in the Atlantic Forest biome.