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Biology of the Rubber Boa (Charina bottae), with Emphasis on C. b. umbratica. Part I: Capture, Size, Sexual Dimorphism, and Reproduction

Richard F. Hoyer and Glenn R. Stewart
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 34, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 348-354
DOI: 10.2307/1565355
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565355
Page Count: 7
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Biology of the Rubber Boa (Charina bottae), with Emphasis on C. b. umbratica. Part I: Capture, Size, Sexual Dimorphism, and Reproduction
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Abstract

A five year field and laboratory study of the southern rubber boa (SRB) in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California provided data on the capture, size, sexual dimorphism, age classes, and reproduction of this state listed subspecies. The use of artificial cover substantially improved capture success. Juvenile, subadult, and adult age classes were described. Mean total length and weight of live measured adult females were significantly greater and mean tail length (% total length) was significantly less than for males. Adult females also tended to have greater percentages of tail tip scarring and shortening than males. There was no sexual dimorphism in these characteristics among neonates, and the neonatal sex ratio was female biased. Total weight loss in gestating females averaged 47% of initial weight, the components being young and ova 28.3%, body reserves 15.3%, and combined embryonic membranes and fluids 3.3%. Relative clutch mass was 0.369. In these respects, the SRB was notably similar to boas from northwestern Oregon, differing primarily in its smaller body size and lighter color.

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