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Date of Award
Restricted Thesis: Campus only access
Bachelor of Science
The seasonal reproductive cycle of male and female copperheads were studied via dissections of 90 museum specimens and road-killed animals. Males average significantly larger than females. Monthly samples of testis mass (adjusted for variation in body mass) were minimal in spring samples, exhibited peak masses in August and September and regressed in October. Histological analyses revealed concordance between the adjusted testis mass cycle and monthly variation in adjusted seminiferous tubule diameter. Peak spermiogenesis occurred in July and August. Epididymis diameters were larger in late summer and fall than in spring samples. Only 45% of the female sample was mature. Vitellogenic follicles were found only in spring samples and ovulation occurs in late-May to early-June. Partuition typically occurs in September and early-October. Litter size was log-normally and positively related to female body size. Mean litter size was 7.1.
Stahl, Scott J. and Mitchell, Joseph C., "Reproductive cycle of the Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)" (1986). Honors Theses. 524.