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 strange question about a Vipera aspis

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Roger Sharp
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PostSubject: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Fri 25 Mar - 6:29

ive had this female Vipera aspis for around a year or more and two days ago i looked in on my reptiles and found 3 eggs with blood vessels in and a not properly formed dead baby snake in its sac i have enclosed some photos of these, bearing in mind i have not mated the female as i dont have a male to pair up with her. has anyone else had any experience with this? kind regards Roger.





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Maciej Pokrywka
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PostSubject: Re: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Mon 28 Mar - 23:09

Hello,
Well, stating the parthenogenesis in Vipera species would be quite risky, I think, so the first&main question should be: Where did the female come from? Some snakes can keep the sperm for very long periods of time without showing signs of pregnency, so something similar could show up in Your aspis. Although, the small litter is questioning as well. I have never been in a situation like this, but my guess would be that the female had been paired with a male in the past.
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Maciej
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Jake Hawthorne
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PostSubject: Re: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Mon 28 Mar - 23:23

Very interesting situation you have on your hands. I would have to agree with Maciej but parthenogenesis is possible. It has been documented in other snake species. It seems unusual to me that only one deformed embryo and 3 slugs came out. If your V. aspis did indeed store sperm I would have expected the clutch size to be a bit bigger and more successful in producing fully formed offspring but there's no way to know for sure.

Is she in good health? How is her weight etc?

Best regards,

Luke
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Maciej Pokrywka
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PostSubject: Re: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Mon 28 Mar - 23:37

Luke Halstead wrote:
If your V. aspis did indeed store sperm I would have expected the clutch size to be a bit bigger and more successful in producing fully formed offspring

My thoughts were the same, but then again, do snakes that store sperm for so long give as big and healthy clutches as the ones that give birth "right after" the copulation? Of course, the small litter could be a hint when talking about parthenogenesis, but we have to remember that small clutches consisting of even one egg/snake happen after normal copulations. So not knowing where the female came from and how was her social life before ;-) we can only speculate.

BTW. Luke, have You heard of parthenogenesis in Vipera before? Or are You talking about snakes in general?

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Maciej
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Jake Hawthorne
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PostSubject: Re: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Mon 28 Mar - 23:48

I was thinking that too. How viable is sperm after being stored for a long time? Perhaps someone else can answer that one.

The only truly confirmed case I've heard of in sankes was I believe in a python (unsure the exact species) in a zoo collection in Asia. I've never heard specifically of Vipera being parthenogenetic but it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

And you're right Maciej, we can never be certain what happened in this case.
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Roger Sharp
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PostSubject: Re: strange question about a Vipera aspis   Tue 29 Mar - 1:02

thank you for you replies, she eats like a pig and has never missed a feed either, i got her off a very good friend of mine and he told me she was paired but only for a brief moment and he didnt see any copulation, im not sure of how she was kept previously but i will ask the question when i speak to him, thank you again for you replies

kind regards Roger.
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