Summary. Micropuncture, microanalytical and microelectrode techniques were used to study electrochemical aspects of 7 elements and fluid in the ductuli efferentes and ductus epididymidis of the tammar. Rete testis fluid was isosmotic with blood and had a lower pH. It also contained lower concentrations of bicarbonate, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur and higher concentrations of potassium and chloride than blood. The luminal fluid was acidified further during passage through the sperm ducts and all of the elements which were studied moved in or out of the lumen, usually against an electrochemical gradient. The ductuli efferentes reabsorbed 87% of the fluid leaving the testis without changing the intraluminal concentrations of sodium, potassium and calcium, but the concentrations of magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur increased. The caput epididymidis reabsorbed about half the fluid entering it: sodium concentrations decreased and those of potassium and phosphorus increased. There was also some fluid reabsorption and an increase in the values of potassium and phosphorus in the corpus epididymidis. There was little net transport of fluid in the cauda epididymidis; sodium, chloride, magnesium and phosphorus concentrations decreased and potassium values increased.
Studies involving filtration through a dialysis membrane of blood and fluid from the rete testis and cauda epididymidis showed that, whilst some of the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur was associated with high molecular weight compounds in blood, the association was not significant in the reproductive fluids.
It is concluded that, except for chloride, the concentrations of the elements vary along the epididymis of the tammar in a way similar to (but different in magnitude) the pattern described for eutherians like the rat. However, the tammar does not accumulate as much organic material in the duct lumen as does the rat and little is present in the cauda epididymidis.