METHOD OF SEMEN COLLECTION AND ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN SNAKES

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Abstract

This study focuses on the method for sperm extraction and artificial insemination in snakes. Ten adult healthy snakes (4.6) were included in the study (Pantherophis guttatus 1.3; Hydrodynastes gigas 1.1; Corallus hortulanus 1.1; and Sanzinia madagascariesis 1.1). Massage of the ventral aspect of the caudal third of the male snake body for 2 to 3 minutes was performed successfully for the semen collection. Both female and male P. guttatus and H. gigas were placed in brumation, with the female snakes being assessed for ovarian activity after emerging from dormancy. Only females showing ultrasonographic evidence of vitellogenic follicles were included in the study. S. madagascariensis and C. hortulanus were maintained at the same temperature through the year, and the ovarian activity was assessed ultrasonographically prior to artificially inseminating the animal. With the aid of a rigid endoscope, fresh semen was delivered through the cloaca and into the females' oviducts using a catheter connected to the syringe. The technique failed in female S. madagascariensis and H. gigas. Two female P. guttatus laid eggs 2 months after artificial insemination, with hatchlings emerging following 2 months of development within the eggs. The third female corn snake did not lay an egg. The female C. hortulans produced eggs 4 months after insemination. The manual massage method of sperm collection in male snakes and endoscopy-assisted insemination in female snakes may be useful for conservation programs.

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