The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 02. Phosphate and calcium level variations in the plasma of the snake Vipera aspis during the annual cycle and the reproductive period


Open Access


Authors: M. Alcobendas, J. Castanet, E. Martelly And C. Milet

Abstract: The measurement of phosphate and calcium levels in the plasma of Vipera aspis during two consecutive year cycles shows significant seasonal variations. For males and non-breeding females, phosphate levels are higher during the active period of the year than during hibernation. Conversely, calcium levels appear generally more elevated for the hibernating period than for the active period. Breeding females present an important increase of phosphate and calcium levels with a peak near ovulation. Clearly, this phenomenon is related to vitellogenesis. The relationship between plasma phosphate and calcium levels and bone tissue mineralization is discussed, the latter being the only reservoir of these mineral salts available to the snake.


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