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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Authors: Rebeca Stella Khouri, Bruno Ferreto Fiorillo, Henrique Bartolomeu Braz , Jorge Henry Maciel , Selma Maria Almeida-Santos & Marcio Martins
Abstract: Studies on reproductive biology have largely contributed to the understanding of snake ecology. However, detailed reproductive data are scarce for many groups, particularly blind snakes. Here, we describe the reproductive biology of Trilepida koppesi (Leptotyphlopidae), a widely distributed species in the savannas of south-central Brazil. We describe its macro- and microscopic reproductive anatomy, female reproductive cycle, potential clutch size, seasonal activity, and sexual dimorphism of a population from south-eastern Brazil. Males have plurilobulated testes. Spermiogenesis occurs in early spring (October), when gonads and kidneys show a textured surface, the sexual segment of the kidney is hypertrophied, and the ductus deferentia are opaque and packed with sperm. Females have only the right oviduct, which shows developed epithelium and uterine glands in spring. Mating likely occurs in spring (October–December), and females store sperm in infundibular receptacles until ovulation between late spring and early summer. Potential clutch size ranges from three to five eggs. Females grow larger than males. The synchrony between spermiogenesis and mating defines the male cycle as prenuptial, which is considered the ancestral state of Squamata. These results agree with the hypothesis of conservative parameters for the group.
Keywords: reproductive morphology, sexual dimorphism, Scolecophidia, clutch size, female sperm storage