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Life history, activity pattern, and morphology of Crotalus tzabcan Klauber, 1952 (Serpentes: Viperidae)

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2020/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Resumen: "The Tzabcan Rattlesnake (Crotalus tzabcan) is a highly secretive species that is difficult to observe and follow in the field and any information that can be generated is essential to gain a better understanding of its biology and ecology. Crotalus tzabcan is a large and heavy-bodied species, with a maximum snout-vent length of 1,667 mm and a total length of 1,818 mm. It is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula, and very little is known about its natural history. We provide data on life history, activity, and morphology based on specimens that we obtained in recent field surveys, museums, and anecdotal observations. Crotalus tzabcan does not present sexual dimorphism in snout-vent length or total length, but males have heads and tails that are significantly longer than females. We observed an ontogenetic color change, where newborns and juveniles had a darker base color and blotches than adults. Crotalus tzabcan showed a unimodal activity pattern with peak activity in the summer. We observed crepuscular and nocturnal activity during the warmer months and diurnal activity during the cooler months. The timing of C. tzabcan reproductive events, based on behavioral evidence and activity, is similar to other pitvipers and rattlesnakes from temperate and tropical zones. We encourage additional research on behavior, physiology, histology, and on how environmental conditions influence life-history traits, to determine the reproductive cycle in both sexes more accurately, which could subsidize conservation strategies."

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