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A comparison of five Korean snake species` reproductive organ sizes, Oocatochus rufodorsatus and Rhabdophis tigrinus in Colubridae and Gloydius saxatilis, G. brevicaudus and G. ussuriensis in Viperidae
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 Title & Authors
A comparison of five Korean snake species` reproductive organ sizes, Oocatochus rufodorsatus and Rhabdophis tigrinus in Colubridae and Gloydius saxatilis, G. brevicaudus and G. ussuriensis in Viperidae
Lee, Heon-Joo; Kim, Ja-Kyeong; Kim, Il-Hun; Koo, Kyo-Sung; Park, Jaejin; Kwon, Se-Ra; Park, Daesik;
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Characteristics of snake reproductive organs that are relatively less affected by external environmental conditions can be used as an important means of classification; additionally, such characteristics can provide useful information on a species` reproductive system. In this study, we compared the testis weights, hemipenis lengths and retractor muscle lengths of male Oocatochus rufodorsatus and Rhabdophis tigrinus in Colubridae and Gloydius saxatilis, G. brevicaudus and G. ussuriensis in Viperidae. The snake snout-vent lengths (SVLs) were positively related to the three reproductive organ sizes, but the body weight only exhibited a positive relationship with the testis weight. The three organs did not significantly differ on the left and right sides. The relative testis weights and retractor muscle lengths (divided by the body weight and SVL, respectively) of the Colubridae snakes were greater than for the Viperidae snakes, but the relative hemipenis lengths (divided by SVL) did not differ between the two groups. The relative testis weight of G. saxatilis and the relative retractor muscle lengths of the Viperidae snakes were smaller compared with the Colubridae snakes. The relative hemipenis length of O. rufodorsatus was greater than for R. tigrinus, G. saxatilis and G. brevicaudus. Additional comparisons were not significant. Our results may facilitate further studies on hemipenial morphology and mating competition in Korean snakes. This is the first study on Korean snake reproductive organs.
Colubridae;mating system;reproductive organ;sexual selection;sperm competition;Viperidae;
 Cited by
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