Oviposition to hatching

Development of Varanus rosenbergi

Robin M. Andrews, Nadav Pezaro, J. Sean Doody, Fiorenzo Guarino, Brian Green

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Varanus rosenbergi females oviposit in nests excavated in termite mounds in summer, and hatching occurs the following spring after a seven-month incubation period. In this study, we characterized developmental features associated with the prolonged incubation of this species at Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Oviposition occurs shortly after limb buds have formed, and the subsequent pattern of organogenesis is similar to that of other lizards. Survival of eggs incubated at constant temperatures ranging from 26-33°C was 89-100%, whereas survival at 24°C and at 35°C was 0 and 14%, respectively. During the incubation period, mean ambient temperature at Kangaroo Island (14-15°C) is too low for successful reproduction, whereas mean temperatures in termite mounds (27-37°C) are substantially warmer and similar to the estimated mean incubation temperature (26-27°C). Therefore, successful reproduction by V. rosenbergi in southern Australia may be contingent on nesting in termitaria. Varanids, in general, have incubation lengths that are substantially longer than those of most other squamates, turtles, and crocodilians. We hypothesize that varanids have prolonged incubation lengths primarily as an adaptation to maximize hatchling fitness because their emergence from nests in the warm and/or wet season of the year following oviposition is the time most favorable for growth and survival. Other factors that may contribute to prolonged incubation are the developmental costs of a large brain and the energy costs associated with nest locations and substrates that may make emergence difficult for hatchlings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)396-401
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Herpetology
    Volume51
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

    Fingerprint

    Varanus
    termite mounds
    oviposition
    hatching
    Macropodidae
    incubation
    nests
    eclosion
    Crocodylia
    limb bud
    temperature
    Squamata
    energy costs
    nest
    organogenesis
    South Australia
    turtles
    termite
    lizards
    ambient temperature

    Cite this

    Andrews, R. M., Pezaro, N., Doody, J. S., Guarino, F., & Green, B. (2017). Oviposition to hatching: Development of Varanus rosenbergi. Journal of Herpetology, 51(3), 396-401. https://doi.org/10.1670/16-124
    Andrews, Robin M. ; Pezaro, Nadav ; Doody, J. Sean ; Guarino, Fiorenzo ; Green, Brian. / Oviposition to hatching : Development of Varanus rosenbergi. In: Journal of Herpetology. 2017 ; Vol. 51, No. 3. pp. 396-401.
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    abstract = "Varanus rosenbergi females oviposit in nests excavated in termite mounds in summer, and hatching occurs the following spring after a seven-month incubation period. In this study, we characterized developmental features associated with the prolonged incubation of this species at Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Oviposition occurs shortly after limb buds have formed, and the subsequent pattern of organogenesis is similar to that of other lizards. Survival of eggs incubated at constant temperatures ranging from 26-33°C was 89-100{\%}, whereas survival at 24°C and at 35°C was 0 and 14{\%}, respectively. During the incubation period, mean ambient temperature at Kangaroo Island (14-15°C) is too low for successful reproduction, whereas mean temperatures in termite mounds (27-37°C) are substantially warmer and similar to the estimated mean incubation temperature (26-27°C). Therefore, successful reproduction by V. rosenbergi in southern Australia may be contingent on nesting in termitaria. Varanids, in general, have incubation lengths that are substantially longer than those of most other squamates, turtles, and crocodilians. We hypothesize that varanids have prolonged incubation lengths primarily as an adaptation to maximize hatchling fitness because their emergence from nests in the warm and/or wet season of the year following oviposition is the time most favorable for growth and survival. Other factors that may contribute to prolonged incubation are the developmental costs of a large brain and the energy costs associated with nest locations and substrates that may make emergence difficult for hatchlings.",
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    Andrews, RM, Pezaro, N, Doody, JS, Guarino, F & Green, B 2017, 'Oviposition to hatching: Development of Varanus rosenbergi', Journal of Herpetology, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 396-401. https://doi.org/10.1670/16-124

    Oviposition to hatching : Development of Varanus rosenbergi. / Andrews, Robin M.; Pezaro, Nadav; Doody, J. Sean; Guarino, Fiorenzo; Green, Brian.

    In: Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 51, No. 3, 09.2017, p. 396-401.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Andrews, Robin M.

    AU - Pezaro, Nadav

    AU - Doody, J. Sean

    AU - Guarino, Fiorenzo

    AU - Green, Brian

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    AB - Varanus rosenbergi females oviposit in nests excavated in termite mounds in summer, and hatching occurs the following spring after a seven-month incubation period. In this study, we characterized developmental features associated with the prolonged incubation of this species at Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Oviposition occurs shortly after limb buds have formed, and the subsequent pattern of organogenesis is similar to that of other lizards. Survival of eggs incubated at constant temperatures ranging from 26-33°C was 89-100%, whereas survival at 24°C and at 35°C was 0 and 14%, respectively. During the incubation period, mean ambient temperature at Kangaroo Island (14-15°C) is too low for successful reproduction, whereas mean temperatures in termite mounds (27-37°C) are substantially warmer and similar to the estimated mean incubation temperature (26-27°C). Therefore, successful reproduction by V. rosenbergi in southern Australia may be contingent on nesting in termitaria. Varanids, in general, have incubation lengths that are substantially longer than those of most other squamates, turtles, and crocodilians. We hypothesize that varanids have prolonged incubation lengths primarily as an adaptation to maximize hatchling fitness because their emergence from nests in the warm and/or wet season of the year following oviposition is the time most favorable for growth and survival. Other factors that may contribute to prolonged incubation are the developmental costs of a large brain and the energy costs associated with nest locations and substrates that may make emergence difficult for hatchlings.

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    UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/oviposition-hatching-development-varanus-rosenbergi

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    Andrews RM, Pezaro N, Doody JS, Guarino F, Green B. Oviposition to hatching: Development of Varanus rosenbergi. Journal of Herpetology. 2017 Sep;51(3):396-401. https://doi.org/10.1670/16-124