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.
Authors: William I. Lutterschmidt
Abstract: The effect of both surgery and implanted transmitters upon sprint time of Thamnophis m. marcianus from two populations was assessed under laboratory conditions using a circular racetrack. The mean sprint times of snakes before surgery were 7.52 s (SE = 0.393, n = 8) and 9.69 s (SE = 0.358, n = 5) for the Arizona and Texas populations, respectively. Mean sprint times of the same snakes following surgery were 7.55 s (SE = 0.387, n = 8) for the Arizona population and 9.83 s (SE = 0.408, n = 5) for the Texas population. A repeated measures ANOV A indicated that sprint time for both non-surgery and surgery treatments did not differ significantly. Transmitter treatments consisted of implanting transmitters equalling 1 0% or 1 5% of the snake's body mass. The mean sprint times for snakes receiving either 1 0% or 1 5% transmitter treatments were statistically compared to the mean sprint time of snakes receiving the surgery treatment. A two-way ANCOV A accounting for body mass indicated that the mean sprint time was significantly reduced for snakes carrying implanted transmitters equal to 1 5% of their body mass. These results suggest that surgical techniques have no effect upon locomotory performance and that implanted transmitters for radiotelemetry of snakes should probably not exceed 1 0% of the snake's body mass.