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REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE OF THE RAINBOW WATER SNAKE

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From March 2006 to April 2007, two hundred and fifty eight Enhydris enhydris females at Ban Borthong, Kabinburi District, Prachinburi Province, were collected from local fisherman?s nets for the investigation of reproductive cycle. Thirty-nine gravid females were found during nine-month period,  February to October, from which the number of gravid females was highest in April. The mean of snout to vent length (SVL) and mass of gravid females was 560.49 ? 5.85 mm and 141.15 ? 64.61 gram, respectively. Mean clutch size was 13.07 ? 5.17 embryos, ranging from 1 to 27 embryos and mean clutch mass was 29.59 ? 17.29 gram, ranged from 4 to 88 gram. The full-term stage of embryo, stage 37, was found in May to June and September, suggesting that the rainbow water snake had 2 reproductive cycles per year. First reproductive cycle period started from October to June and second period started from May to September.


INTRODUCTION

The Oriental-Australian rear-fanged water snakes in the Family Homalopsidae are distributed worldwide. Approximately 38 species have been found from Pakistan?s Indus River to northern Australia and the Micronesian Island of Palau (e.g. Taylor, 1965; Cox et al., 1998; Murphy et al., 2002; Karns et al., 2005). One species of these snakes, Enhydris enhydris (figure 1), has wide distribution ranging from northeast India and Myanmar eastward to peninsular Southeast Asia, through Indonesia as far east as Sulawesi. It is piscivorous and highly aquatic life-style. By the way, a lot of cognizance were scattered reported in many literatures. Although spectacularly dense populations were reported by many authors (Murphy et al., 1999; Murphy &Voris, 2002), a highly uncontrolled fishery in many freshwater habitats could affect their populations (Stuart et al., 2000). Hence, the research on reproductive cycle of this snake could provide important information to understand its life-history patterns and to plan its conservation management program. This study the reproductive cycle of Enhydris enhydris at Kabinburi District, Prachinburi Province, Thailand

Figure 1. Rainbow water snake, Enhydris enhydris, at Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi Province, Thailand.

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Key words : Enhydris enhydris, gravid female, full-term stage of embryo, reproductive cycle

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ที่มา: วารสารสัตว์ป่าเมืองไทย ปีที่ 15 ฉบับที่ 1 ธันวาคม 2551
Journal Of Wildlife in Thailand Vol.15 No.1 December 2008


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