U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

March 2004


Published by Herpetological Review, 2004, 35(1), 46-49.


The reproductive biology of the brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis), an invasive tropical species known primarily for the extensive ecological damage it has caused on the island of Guam (Savidge 1987), is poorly understood. This is not for lack of sampling effort by researchers-it is simply because reproduction apparently occurs in all months of the year (Rodda et al. 1999) and periodic sampling in such systems cannot detect the phenology of major reproductive events (e.g., ovarian recrudescence, ovulation, oviposition) and other important life history attributes (e.g., frequency of reproduction). In such systems, repeated observations of individuals may be the only recourse for obtaining such information. Accordingly, we recently established a captive colony of brown treesnakes at our facilities and were able to successfully induce reproduction in a number of females (Mathies and Miller 2003). Here, in our second effort to induce reproduction in this colony, we report on the phenology of ovarian recrudescence, the conditions that initiate this process, and the possibility that copulation may be necessary to induce ovulation.