Male night adder.

South African snakes with venoms that are not considered to be medically important.

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Male night adder.

Postby Bushviper » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:42 pm

I recently got a freshly run over night adder. It was obviously a male so I injected the tail with water.

You can clearly see two hemipenes being exposed

You can also make out that each works independently so one can be erected at any given time

I then injected the one with water and this is what it looks like when fully erect. That is a single bifurcated hemipene

I hope this now makes sense when I tell people to probe gently because the hemipene is not just a hollow tube down which the probe goes but it has to decide if it going to go left or right of the hemipene and then it could damage the hemipene and the snake will not be able to breed.
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Re: Male night adder.

Postby Westley Price » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:32 pm

Jis, looking at the detail on each hemipene one can now see why entire species have been described using only the hemipenal characteristics.

As far as I recall, the Mole snake colour variations are being looked at because there are significant differences in hemipenal structure between the colour phases (as well as differences in subcaudal scalation).

I assume those "hairs" as well as whorling shape are to give traction when the hemipene is inserted?

Interesting stuff. I recon I will try this with the next DOR I get. Thanx for sharing.
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Re: Male night adder.

Postby rolandslf » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:04 pm

Thank You Arno. A clear indication of why probing needs to be done with caution by people who know how to do it properly.
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Re: Male night adder.

Postby Warren Klein » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:43 am

The structure of snakes hemipenes can be very unique and vary considerable between species. Puff adders have huge double lobed hemipenes and seem to be the most well-endowed of our snakes while even a full grown Olive grass snakes hemipenes are no bigger than and resemble a garden snails antennae. Many of the arboreal species such as Boomslang and Bush snakes have some serious spikes which you can actually prick (no pun intended) you finger on and bleed from.
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