Brazilian agoutis are monogamous, and often live in pairs or small family groups consisting of parents and their offspring. Agoutis need a large area to court and breed, so they do not reproduce well in captivity. They are fairly social animals, and perhaps stick together for mating and safety purposes. Although data on D. leporina are not available, other species in the family Dasyproctidae mate for life and breed twice annually if enough food is available. It is reasonable to assume that Brazilian agoutis are similar to other Dasyproctids.
Mating System: monogamous
Brazilian agoutis tend to have 1 to 3 offspring at a time after a gestation period of 104 to 120 days. Though data on D. leporina are unavailable, other members of Dasyproctidae have estrus cycles lasting approximately 34 days and wean their offspring around 20 weeks of age.
Breeding interval: The breeding interval for these animals is not known.
Breeding season: The breeding season for D. leporina has not been reported.
Range number of offspring: 1 to 4.
Average number of offspring: 1.400.
Range gestation period: 104 to 120 days.
Average gestation period: 104 days.
Average weaning age: 140 days.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous
Average number of offspring: 1.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 193 days.
Agoutis often live in small groups consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring, though young are precocial and can forage soon after birth. Juvenile agoutis are born into a world rich with predators, and the ability to run within an hour of birth greatly increases their chance of survival. Members of the family Dayproctidae generally give birth to fewer, larger offspring than do other rodents, and spend a good amount of time and energy raising their young. Juveniles of both sexes might remain with their parents after 20 weeks of age, though males are more likely to disperse than females. The roles of mothers and fathers in parental care have not been documented for these animals.
Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); post-independence association with parents