Reproductive aspects of the Chocoan River turtle (Rhinoclemmys nasuta, Geoemydidae) along the Colombian Pacific coast

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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We collected data on several aspects of the reproductive biology of the Chocoan River Turtle (Rhinoclemmys nasuta) as part of a long-term demographic study (2005-2015), along the Pacific coast of the department of Valle del Cauca in Colombia. We palpated 659 females and found 77 gravid, with two peaks in the proportion of females gravid, one between May and June, and another from October to December; there was a significant correlation between the monthly proportion gravid and the monthly amount of precipitation (Spearman rank correlation rs=0.60, P<0.05). We obtained 13 eggs (mean length = 63.8 mm, mean width = 35.4 mm, mean weight = 45.8 g). Using egg volume as a general indicator of size, there was no significant relationship with female size. To induce oviposition, oxytocin, prostaglandin, or a combination of the two was injected into 37 gravid females with a success rate of 48.6%. We determined the duration of incubation for two individuals as 133 and 135 days. With this information, we fill some gaps in the knowledge of reproductive ecology of this species; however, the sample size is very low and primarily comes from a single insular population and therefore it is important to continue studies on aspects of reproductive ecology such as those evaluated in this study and other topics like sex determination.

Reproductive aspects of the Chocoan River turtle (Rhinoclemmys nasuta, Geoemydidae) along the Colombian Pacific coast

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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References

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Figures

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    Map of the study sites along the Pacific coast of the department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

  • View in gallery

    (A) The linear relationship of estimated egg volume (cm3) and female carapace length (mm) for R. nasuta. (B) The linear relationship between relative egg mass (REM) and female carapace length (mm) for R. nasuta.

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    Monthly distribution of the proportion of adult female R. nasuta that were gravid as determined by inguinal palpation compared to the average monthly rainfall.

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