Study

Evidence for selection on thermoregulation: effects of temperature on embryo mortality in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans

  • Published source details O'Donnell R.P. & Arnold S.J. (2005) Evidence for selection on thermoregulation: effects of temperature on embryo mortality in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans. Copeia, 2005, 930-934.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Alter incubation temperatures to achieve optimal/desired sex ratio: Snakes & lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Alter incubation temperatures to achieve optimal/desired sex ratio: Snakes & lizards

    A randomized study (year not provided) in laboratory conditions in California, USA (O’Donnell & Arnold 2005) found that maintaining pregnant female garter snakes Thamnophis elegans at intermediate temperatures in captivity increased overall embryo survival rates, male offspring stillbirths was also reduced at higher temperatures and temperature did not affect live hatchling sex ratios. When pregnant female garter snakes were maintained at 26.6°C, embryo survival rate was higher than at lower (21–24°C) or higher temperatures (28–33°C; data reported as model outputs). Rates of male offspring stillbirths reduced at intermediate and higher temperatures (data reported as model outputs). Incubation temperature did not affect the sex ratio of live offspring (see paper for details). Seventy-four wild pregnant female garter snakes were brought into captivity and maintained at one of nine constant temperatures (21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, and 33°C; 2–14 females/temperature) until giving birth. Females were on average in the 20th day of pregnancy when temperature management began. In total 504 snakes were born.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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