Title

The feasibility of using body proportions in Western Australian varanids (Varanus) as a method for determining a specimen's sex.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Western Australian Museum

Faculty

Business and Public Management

School

Marketing, Tourism and Leisure

RAS ID

214

Comments

This article was originally published as: Thompson, G. G. (2002). The feasibility of using body proportions in Western Australian varanids (Varanus) as. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 20, 437-439. Original available here

Abstract

The literature suggests that varanids are sexually dimorphic based on an array of morphometric variables. Brana (1996) reports that for lacertid lizards, size-corrected abdominal length is always larger in females and head lengths are always larger in males. Thompson and Withers (1997) reported a similar trend for some Western Australian varanids. This study examined the possibility of using a ratio of abdominal length and head length to determine the sex of varanids caught in the field. Although there are statistically significant differences in the mean ratio of abdominal length and head length for males and females for seven species of varanids in the subgenus Odatria, overlap in the ratio between males and females is too large for this to be a useful measure by itself. This ratio might, however, be useful when combined with other techniques (such as everting hemipenes) to improve the probability of determining the sex of wild-caught specimens. Ratios of abdominal length and head length for varanids in the subgenus Varanus do not differ between sexes.

Access Rights

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