Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor's Name

George H. Dalrymple

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alicia Zuniga

Keywords

Snakes -- Florida -- Long Pine Key -- Reproduction, Snakes -- Florida -- Long Pine Key -- Behavior, Rattlesnakes

Date of Defense

4-24-1987

Abstract

The life history and reproductive ecology of the pygmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius barbouri was studied from January, 1984 to June, 1987 at Long Pine Key, Everglades national Park. This sample exhibits no sexual dimorphism except for relative to hail lengths; mean adult size was about 47 cms. Females do however comprise the majority of the snakes over 50 cms. S.m. barbouri show no habitat preference between the four habitat types. They are active year-round theater clearly second half of the year snakes. The species activity peak is in October which marks the end of the wet season and the climax and water table level. In addition, gravid females are active in February and March. While wise and juveniles also show a small peak of activity in May, the onset of the wet season. In the fall ovary length and egg size is small where is the test's size is large suggesting meeting in the fall. Eggs are yoked and enlarged in February and March but are still in the ovaries. Birth of the young occurs in July. Sperm retention is suggested. Mean hatchling size is larger than that cited by Klauber (1956). Growth rate in the first year of life is estimated to be approximately 82% Age of sexual maturity is estimated to be three years.

Identifier

FI14062233

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