Reproductive biology and distribution of the terciopelo, Bothrop asper garman (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Costa Rica
- ISSN: 00180831
In Costa Rica, Bothrops asper is widely distributed in rainforests below 1500 m and exhibits different reproductive cycles according to location. On the Pacific versant, mating took place between September and November, and the females gave birth between April and June. The mean number of neonates was 18.6 (5-40) in this population. Neonates ranged in total length from 28.0-34.6 cm and in mass from 6.7-13.1 g. In the population of the Atlantic versant, mating was observed in March, and births occurred between September and November. The mean number of offspring was 41.1 (14-86) whereas the total length of neonates ranged from 27.0-36.5 cm, and mass from 6.1-20.2 g. In both populations, gestation time ranged from 6-8 mo, and the size of a litter correlated significantly with the size of the female. In newborn specimens, females were longer than males, especially in the Atlantic population, and females attained a larger adult length. Sexual dichromatism was evidenced by the presence of a yellow color in the tail of male neonates. Females reached sexual maturity when they had total body lengths of 110-120 cm, and males of 99.5 cm.