Villamar-Duque, T. E., R. Cruz-Elizalde & A. Ramírez-Bautista

In Issues 2019

Reproduction of the Bromeliad Arboreal Alligator Lizard, Abronia taeniata (Squamata: Anguidae), in a temperate environment of central Mexico. pp. 221-230.

Abstract. We analysed size (snout–vent length, SVL), body mass, reproductive cycles, and reproductive characteristics (litter size) of a population of the viviparous lizard Abronia taeniata in the central part of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico. Sizes and weights were similar between sexes. The males reach sexual maturity (SVL = 74.6 mm) at a smaller size than females (SVL = 81.7 mm). In males, testicular volumes varied with the month; it was small during November, and began to increase in volume in December, continued to increase in January, February, and March, to a plateau from April to August, peaking in September and October, and decreasing in November. The increase in testicular volume is correlated with precipitation, but not with temperature or photoperiod. In females, early vitellogenic follicles were found in August and September, and embryonic development occurred from November to June, with a period of high embryonic development from January to June, i.e., during the birthing period. Mean monthly gonad volume was positively correlated with precipitation, but not with temperature or photoperiod. Mean litter size was 6.4 ± 0.31, which was not correlated with female SVL, but was correlated with female body mass. Mean SVL of neonates was 54.0 ± 3.7 mm. Abronia taeniata showed the typical reproductive pattern of viviparous species inhabiting temperate environments at high altitudes, with asynchronous gonad activity between males and females, but with a longer period of reproductive activity in both sexes with respect to other viviparous species from high altitudes and related species. This study is the first to describe the reproductive cycle of Abronia taeniata, as well as the reproductive characteristics of minimum size at sexual maturity and litter size. Studies that analyse aspects of diet, sexual dimorphism, behaviour, and demography are necessary to increase our knowledge of this endemic species, in order to design informed strategies for the maintenance and conservation of its populations.

Key words. Anguidae, litter size, reproductive cycle, viviparous lizard.

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