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1 September 2011 Structure of a Population of the Amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni in North Africa
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Abstract

Amphisbaenians are a group of reptiles specialized for a fossorial life, which makes the study of their peculiar biological and ecological adaptations difficult. The population biology of amphisbaenians is almost unknown. We described the seasonal variation in the size, age, and sex structure of a population of the amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni from the Chafarinas Islands, in North Africa. We specifically described body size (length and weight), frequency distribution of newborn and older juvenile individuals and adults, sex ratio of adults (which did not differ from a 1∶1 ratio), and proportion of juveniles and newborn individuals in the population. The results indicated that T. wiegmanni is a viviparous species that delays reproduction until at least 2.5 yr, that almost half of adult females do not reproduce every year, and that females have a very small brood size (i.e., reproductive females give birth to a single juvenile at the beginning of autumn). We also used our data to infer growth and survival of juveniles, suggesting that mortality of newborn individuals is low. There are many aspects of the population biology of amphisbaenians that remain unknown and further studies are clearly needed.

The Herpetologists' League, Inc.
José Martín, Nuria Polo-Cavia, Adega Gonzalo, Pilar López, and Emilio Civantos "Structure of a Population of the Amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni in North Africa," Herpetologica 67(3), 250-257, (1 September 2011). https://doi.org/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-11-00007.1
Accepted: 1 May 2011; Published: 1 September 2011
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