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Copulating acts of snakes and lizards in nature are not so often encountered, and research is mostly based on captive specimens (TOKARZ, 1999). Unlike Grass snakes, Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758), where individuals form mating congregations during the mating season, Aesculapian snakes, Zamenis longissimus (Laurenti, 1768) copulate in pairs (KREINER, 2007). One mating couple of Aesculapian snakes was observed by the authors in Vugrovec (Zagreb, 25.05.2008., X: 5515507, Y: 5084158) (Fig. 2). Most lizards have a polygynous socialsystem, as recorded in Anolis sagrei (Duméril & Bibron, 1837) (TOKARZ, 1998). Mating behaviour varies, like evolved forced copulation in Ctenophorus maculosus (Mitchell, 1948) (OLSSON, 1995). Conventional mating behaviour in lizards includes the male inflicting narrow V-shaped bite marks on the dorsal and ventral part of the female's abdomen, just anterior of her hind legs (ANDERSON & VITT, 1990). In some species, males produce a copulatory plug that adheres firmly inside the female's cloaca and blocks both oviducts, as recorded in Iberian rock lizards, Iberolacerta monticola (Boulenger, 1905) (MOREIRA & BIRKHEAD, 2003; MOREIRA & BIRKHEAD, 2004). The authors recorded one mating couple of Podarcis melisellensis (Braun, 1877) on the island of Žirje (02.05.2009., X: 5554711, Y: 4832567), one couple of Podarcis muralis (Laurenti, 1768) at Ružica Grad (Papuk Mt., 30.03.2008., X: 5723871, Y: 5044707) and one couple of Podarcis siculus (Rafinesque, 1810) in Rovinj (12.06.2011., X: 5393043, Y: 4992655) (Fig. 1).
 
Figure 1.: Mating of (a) P. melisellensis (Photo: B. Lauš), (b) P. siculus (Photo: M. Zadravec), (c) P.
muralis (Photo: D. Jeli?)
 
Figure 2.: Mating of Z. longissimus: (a) overview, (b,c) details (Photos: M. Zadravec)
 
REFERENCES:
ANDERSON, R.A. & VITT, L.J. (1990): Sexual selection versus alternative causes of sexual dimorphism in teiid lizards. Oecologia 84 (1): 145-157.
KREINER, G. (2007): The Snakes of Europe. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main: 122-156.
MOREIRA, P.L. & BIRKHEAD, T.R. 2003. Copulatory plugs in the Iberian rock lizard do not prevent insemination by rival males. Functional Ecology 17: 796-802.
MOREIRA, P.L. & BIRKHEAD, T.R. (2004): Copulatory plug displacement and prolonged copulation in the Iberian rock lizard (Lacerta monticola). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 56: 290-297.
OLSSON, M. (1995): Forced copulation and costly female resistance behavior in the Lake Eyre Dragon, Ctenophorus maculosus. Herpetologica 51: 19-24.
TOKARZ, R. R. (1998): Mating pattern in the lizard Anolis sagrei: implications for mate choice and sperm competition. Herpetologica 54: 388-394.
TOKARZ, R. R. (1999). Relationship between copulation duration and sperm transfer in the lizard Anolis sagrei. Herpetologica 55: 234-241.
 
HYLA VOL. 2011. No. 2 Str. 43-46 PHOTO NOTE

Copulating acts of snakes and lizards in nature are not so often encountered, and research is mostly based on captive specimens (TOKARZ, 1999). Unlike Grass snakes, Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758), where individuals form mating congregations during the mating season, Aesculapian snakes, Zamenis longissimus (Laurenti, 1768) copulate in pairs (KREINER, 2007).

 

One mating couple of Aesculapian snakes was observed by the authors in Vugrovec (Zagreb, 25.05.2008., X: 5515507, Y: 5084158) (Fig. 2). Most lizards have a polygynous socialsystem, as recorded in Anolis sagrei (Duméril & Bibron, 1837) (TOKARZ, 1998). Mating behaviour varies, like evolved forced copulation in Ctenophorus maculosus (Mitchell, 1948) (OLSSON, 1995). Conventional mating behaviour in lizards includes the male inflicting narrow V-shaped bite marks on the dorsal and ventral part of the female's abdomen, just anterior of her hind legs (ANDERSON & VITT, 1990). In some species, males produce a copulatory plug that adheres firmly inside the female's cloaca and blocks both oviducts, as recorded in Iberian rock lizards, Iberolacerta monticola (Boulenger, 1905) (MOREIRA & BIRKHEAD, 2003; MOREIRA & BIRKHEAD, 2004). The authors recorded one mating couple of Podarcis melisellensis (Braun, 1877) on the island of Žirje (02.05.2009., X: 5554711, Y: 4832567), one couple of Podarcis muralis (Laurenti, 1768) at Ružica Grad (Papuk Mt., 30.03.2008., X: 5723871, Y: 5044707) and one couple of Podarcis siculus (Rafinesque, 1810) in Rovinj (12.06.2011., X: 5393043, Y: 4992655) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1.: Mating of (a) P. melisellensis (Photo: B. Lauš), (b) P. siculus (Photo: M. Zadravec), (c) P.muralis (Photo: D. Jeli?)

Figure 2.: Mating of Z. longissimus: (a) overview, (b,c) details (Photos: M. Zadravec)

REFERENCES:
ANDERSON, R.A. & VITT, L.J. (1990): Sexual selection versus alternative causes of sexual dimorphism in teiid lizards. Oecologia 84 (1): 145-157.
KREINER, G. (2007): The Snakes of Europe. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main: 122-156.
MOREIRA, P.L. & BIRKHEAD, T.R. 2003. Copulatory plugs in the Iberian rock lizard do not prevent insemination by rival males. Functional Ecology 17: 796-802.
MOREIRA, P.L. & BIRKHEAD, T.R. (2004): Copulatory plug displacement and prolonged copulation in the Iberian rock lizard (Lacerta monticola). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 56: 290-297.
OLSSON, M. (1995): Forced copulation and costly female resistance behavior in the Lake Eyre Dragon, Ctenophorus maculosus. Herpetologica 51: 19-24.TOKARZ, R. R. (1998): Mating pattern in the lizard Anolis sagrei: implications for mate choice and sperm competition. Herpetologica 54: 388-394.
TOKARZ, R. R. (1999). Relationship between copulation duration and sperm transfer in the lizard Anolis sagrei. Herpetologica 55: 234-241.

HYLA VOL. 2011. No. 2 Str. 43-46 PHOTO NOTE
This site has information on the following genera of Ratsnakes ... Spilotes, Spalerosophis, Ptyas, Zamenis, Elaphe, Rhinechis, Senticolis, Pseudelaphe, Pantherophis, Bogertophis, Orthriophis, Gonyosoma, Oreocryptophis, Oocatochus, Euprepiophis, Coelognathus, Archelaphe