Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

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Sexual dimorphism in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) from the Wild Animal Triage Center of the Tiete Ecological Park, São Paulo, Brazil

Gradela, AdrianaSantiago, Thamyris Oliveira CarneiroPires, Isabelle CarolineSilva, Alequisandra de Castro SouzaSouza, Leniker Cordeiro deFaria, Marcelo Domingues dePereira Neto, JoaquimMilanelo, Liliane

Background: Trachemys scripta elegans is an aquatic turtle native to North America and distributed geographically from the eastern United States to northeastern Mexico. In Brazil, it is an exotic and invasive species and the most illegally traded pet animal. When these turtles grow and they cease to be attractive as pets, they are released clandestinely in lakes, ponds, rivers, and other bodies of water, where they threaten biodiversity and native populations. The present study aimed to characterize specimens of T. s. elegans from the Centro de Triagem de Animais Silvestres do Parque Ecológico do Tiete by analyzing body biometrics, sexual dimorphism, and structure of specimens for sex ratio and size classes. Materials, Methods & Results: Trachemys scripta elegans turtles (39 females and 30 males) were anesthetized, euthanized and frozen. After being thawed, the turtles were sexed according to measurements on secondary sex characters such as claw length (CWL) of the third finger of the right forearm and length of the tail from the tip to the beginning of the cloacal opening (postcloacal tail length, PTL); subsequently, sex was confirmed through dissection. Subsequently, body mass (BM, g) and maximum carapace length (MCL, cm), maximum carapace width (MCW, cm), maximum plastron length (MPL, cm), maximum plastron width (MPW) and shell height (HGT, cm, measured laterally until obtaining the greatest value) were evaluated and the sexual dimorphism index (SDI) was also calculated. All analyses were performed using SAS v. 9.4 software. The results indicate a sex ratio of 1.3 females per male. The identification of males by secondary sex characteristics was performed using only claw length (CWL), which was related to sex and not to maximum carapace length (MCL). The most discriminatory variables were CWL in males and body mass (BM) in females. […](AU)

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