Semen characteristics from 250 Zebu and 144 European bulls were described and compared among season and species. All bulls were selected as donors and during five years were always stationed at an Artificial Insemination Center in Southeast of Brazil, where temperatures were above 19º C in both dry and rainy seasons. Contingency tables and Tukey's test were used to check associations and to compare group means, respectively. Semen from European breeds showed higher swirl, motility and concentration values than those of Zebu breeds (P<0.05). Semen volume was higher for Zebu breeds (P<0.05). There were more discarded ejaculates in the rainy season (P<0.05). A major cause for discarding ejaculates was undesirable physical characteristics for the Zebu and morphological characteristics for the European breeds (P<0.05). Semen freezing ability values for the European breeds were higher.
cattle; semen; andrology; seasonal variation