TitleCourtship, mating, and male combat of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsGreene, MJ, Mason, RT
JournalHerpetologica
Volume56
Pagination166-175
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0018-0831
Abstract

The brown tree snake. Boiga irregularis, is an introduced pest species on the island of Guam where it has caused significant economic and ecological damage. Despite the need for basic biological information about this species to manage it effectively, little is known about its reproductive behavior. We report here the repertoire of reproductive behaviors displayed by this species. The courtship behavior of the brown tree snake parallels that of other colubrids, adhering to the triphasic schema developed to standardize descriptions of colubrid courtship: nonetheless. there are differences in the specific behaviors displayed. Unlike most other colubrids; Female brown tree snakes employ courtship behaviors normal displayed only by males. In addition, females can inhibit male courtship through the use of a pheromone released in a liquid secretion from the cloaca. Male brown tree snakes show ritualized combat behavior similar to that observed in other colubrid species. Longer and heavier males always won combat events in the study.

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