Reproductive cycles of two island pitvipers species (Serpentes, Viperidae) determined by ultrasonography and radiography

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We used ultrasonography and radiography to assess the sexual organs and char-acterize the reproductive cycle of captive golden lancehead (Bothrops insularis) and Alcatrazes lancehead (B. alcatraz), two endangered island snake species in Brazil. We assessed 46- individuals of golden lancehead and 12 of Alcatrazes lancehead kept in captivity between 2014 and 2020. Follicular development was similar between species, but follicles in Alcatrazes lancehead were smaller than in the golden lance-heads. Female golden lanceheads produced 24 live young, seven stillborn and 73 un-developed eggs. Parturition of live young occurred between midsummer (February) and early autumn and gestation averaged 8 months. Female Alcatrazes lanceheads produced four live young in midsummer, and one undeveloped egg in early autumn. Males and females of both species have seasonal and biennial reproductive cycles. Sperm storage in both sexes is essential to coordinate male and female cycles. The data obtained with golden lancehead and Alcatrazes lancehead in captivity, demon-strate a degree of conservatism, following data from other Bothrops.
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