The Reproductive Cycle in the Grass Snake, Natrix natrix (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Iran

Abdolhossein Shiravi, Afshin Faghiri, Vida Hojati

Abstract


The grass snake, Natrix natrix, is a non­-venomous oviparous snake of the family Colubridae. We studied the reproductive cycle of this species in Mazandaran, a northern province of Iran. Sampling was done from April to November and 76 female snakes were gathered by hand and net. Ovaries were removed and processed for histological study. The results show that oocyte growth starts in early June and ends in August. At this stage, the mean length and width of oocytes were 0.6 and 0.2 mm, respectively. A number of oocytes grow up and continue the vitellogenesis. At the end of vitellogenesis, the mean length and width of mature oocytes were 30 and 8 mm, respectively. Mating occurred in early summer; especially the end of June and oviposition occurred from July to August.


Keywords


oogenesis; reproduction; grass snake; Natrix natrix; Iran

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