Reproductive aspects of the semi-aquatic snake Erythrolamprus miliaris (Dipsadidae: Xenodontini) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil


Abstract: We analyzed some aspects of reproduction and sexual dimorphism of the semi-aquatic dipsadid snake Erythrolamprus miliaris in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. We detected sexual dimorphism in body size (snout-vent length), with females averaging larger than males, but no sexual dimorphism in the relative length of the tail. Oviductal eggs and secondary follicles were found in all seasons, suggesting that female reproductive cycles are continuous, in spite of the tropical seasonal climate in the region. Reproductive males were present throughout the year, suggesting a continuous cycle for males as well. Clutch size averaged 10.3 ± 4.8 (range 4-21) and there was a positive and significant relationship between clutch size and female size. Compared to conspecific populations previously studied in other Atlantic Rainforest areas, populations of E. miliaris from the state of Rio de Janeiro appear more similar overall in their reproductive traits to a more northern population from the state of Bahia than to populations from further south in the states of São Paulo and Paraná.