Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Reproductive biology of the swamp racer Mastigodryas bifossatus (Serpentes: Colubridae) in subtropical Brazil

T. Leite, Pedrode F. Nunes, SimoneL. Kaefer, IgorZ. Cechin, Sonia

The swamp racer Mastigodryas bifossatus (Raddi, 1820) is a large snake of Colubrinae. It is widely distributed in open areas throughout South America. Dissection of 224 specimens of this species housed in herpetological collections of the southern Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná provided information on its sexual dimorphism, reproductive cycle and fecundity in subtropical Brazil. Adult specimens of M. bifossatus average approximately 1190 mm in snout-vent length and females are larger than males. The reproductive cycle of females is seasonal, with secondary vitellogenesis occurring from July to December. However, examination of male gonads did not reveal signs of reproductive seasonality in this sex. Egg laying was recorded from November to January. The estimated recruitment period extends from February to April. The mean number of individuals per clutch is 15, and there is a positive correlation between female length and clutch size.

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