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Notes on reproductive behavior and birth of captive Two-Striped Forest Vipers (Bothrops bilineatus) from Ecuador

Barragán-Paladines, María Elena

Executive Director, Ecuadorian NGO

Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés-Vivarium de Quito

Quito, Ecuador South America

In this talk I will describe reproductive behavior observed on two occasions in captivity of the Two-Striped Forest Viper (Bothrops bilineatus). This information is based on two copulations and two litters of this species born in the Quito Vivarium. As a complement, a review of data on dead specimens from the organization's reference collection will be included. In the year 2021, an extensive copulation period of at least 6 hours was observed, reported in the afternoon and after causing a gentle artificial rain of warm water. The copulation in 1996 reported male activity in days prior to copulation. Mating periods in the different years were recorded (May 1995 and September 2021). Although males and females were kept together in the same exhibit, this behavior had not been previously reported. After approximately 8 months of gestation, in both cases, the female descended to a branch located about 20 cm from the floor of the exhibit to give birth. In both cases, we do not know the exact time of delivery, although the babies in both cases were found in the morning, a few centimeters from the female, on branches located 20-30 cm from the exhibit floor. Once babies were found, they were separated from the mother and kept in individual cages. The male (from mating in 2021) was kept in the same exhibit, while the mother remained on the same branch until the next day when she climbed to the highest branches of the exhibit. No parental care behavior was noted toward the young.


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