The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 03. Thermal and reproductive ecology of the snake Psammophis phillipsi from the rainforest region of southern Nigeria


Open Access


Authors: Godfrey C. Akani, Edem A. Eniang , Itohowo J. Ekp, Francesco M. Angelici And Luca Luiselli

Abstract: Aspects of the thermal and reproductive ecology were studied in the colubrid snake Psammophis phillipsi from south-eastern Nigeria. The annual reproductive cycle was well synchronized and seasonal: females were gravid in the middle part of the dry season, and oviposition occurred in the second half of the dry season (February-March), whereas egg hatching occurred by the onset of the rainy season (mid April to early June). The mean number of eggs was 9.2±0.9 (n = 23), and was related to maternal size. Gravid and non-gravid specimens did not differ significantly in terms of mean SVL, mean Tb , or T5 Mean Tb tended to increase regularly from 0600 to 1200 hrs, attained the higher values in the middle of the day ( 1200- 1500 hrs), and tended to decrease after 1800 hrs. Gravid individuals differed from non-gravid individuals in that their variances of T were notably lower both in the early morning and in the middle of the day, but higher at other times of day. Multiple regressions showed that the interaction of T and T had a significant effect on Tb , whereas Tb was not influenced by the number of eggs produced tn gravid animals.

Keywords: body temperatures, Colubridae, Psammophiinae, reproductive biology, tropical Africa

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